The Occasional Shippment

Occasional thoughts from a young adult reveling in the messiness of life.

Lent through Lens: The Sandwich Post

My church is doing an interesting Lenten series that really speaks to the photographer in me. The series is called “Lent through Lens” where we are all asked to reflect on the Gospel lesson for the coming week and photograph our interpretations in the world around us. What I love about this series is that it embodies one of the metaphors that I have used frequently in my spiritual journey, in that going back to church all those years ago gave me a new lens with which to see the world.

I’ll be posting the readings, my interpretations and my photos here after we have shared them in the Christian Ed class each Sunday. Though the first image-sharing session in the series isn’t until this coming Sunday, I started with this past week’s reading:

Luke 4:1 (NRSV)

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.'” Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'” Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.


SandwichIn 2007, I heard one of the best sermons I have ever witnessed on Luke 4:1-13. As the priest was talking about the temptations Christ faced, he said in the most incredulous voice:

“God didn’t take flesh to make himself a sandwich.”

I was taken slightly aback and tried my best to muffle my giggles. But as the humorous image of Jesus munching on a panini from Panera in the middle of the desert faded in my mind, the sheer genius of this statement took over. We are put on this earth for a reason–we all have a purpose and a calling to fulfill.

How easily do we let things get in the way of achieving that purpose? How much time do we waste on the insignificant stuff? How often do we put our own needs above the needs of others?

Personally, I know that there are many times where I get so caught up in my never-ending list of things that I *have* to do and list of things I want to buy that I can lose sight of the bigger picture of why I was put on this earth. I have to remind myself that my time, my talent and my treasures are all gifts from God, and it’s up to me to discern how God wants me to use those gifts to further God’s kingdom. It is only by doing so that I can be propelled forward on my journey into deeper and greater faithfulness that will ultimately allow me to answer that call and really, truly make a difference in this life.

God didn’t come to earth, take flesh and walk among us to make himself a sandwich. And God didn’t put me here to do that, either.


4 comments on “Lent through Lens: The Sandwich Post

  1. Lon
    February 25, 2013

    Brilliant idea and image! I think that’s a great way to meditate on the lessons.

    I love that quote too: “God didn’t take flesh to make himself a sandwich.” — which points out the magnitude of what Jesus came to do for us. At other times he ate and shared meals at feasts and weddings, but this event in Luke 4 is unique. Jesus came to accomplish the Father’s mission with full obedience whatever the cost. And that obedience needed to be proven and tested. There are clear parallels here to the temptation in the Garden (which Adam and Eve failed even though they had plenty to eat) and to the Manna in the wilderness which Israel ate, complaining, and disobeying.

    But, I wouldn’t be too quick to jump to a moral-of-the-story interpretation though, e.g. “Jesus was self-disciplined and fasted, so we should, too.” I think it’s better to focus on why He fasted in the desert — why He was perfectly obedient though tempted more than we will ever be. Look what it cost the Son of God to redeem us! Our sin must be great! Our savior must be perfect on our behalf! Our enemy must be powerful! Our God must love us more than we can imagine! It’s about what he accomplished for us, and this enables us to begin to follow him and reflect him in small ways to the world.

    Brilliant idea – my circles could learn a lot from this type of creative reflection.

  2. Pingback: Boredom with “This Is My Body” «

  3. Pingback: Lent through Lens: Prodigal Pictures | The Occasional Shippment

  4. Pingback: Lent through Lens: Takeaway | The Occasional Shippment

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2013 by in Faith and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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