March 10

Read: Luke 4:1-13

(In 2016, my friend Laura won the right to pick my Lenten penance, and we decided that I would take on the fast that she has to do as a Coptic Christian. This is the conversation I may or may not have had with God on the night of Ash Wednesday. God’s alleged words are the bolded ones.)

“Goooooooooooood!! I’m huuuuuuunnnngggrrrryyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!”

Jen, you’re whining. You were also the one who chose this Lenten fast, so suck it up, buttercup!

“But I’m hungry! I only had a tofu dog for dinner tonight! How do millions of Orthodox Christians do this year after year?”

You’re forgetting that they do this several times per year. You western Christians need to toughen up.

“But you don’t understand, God. I’m huuuuunnnnggggrrryyyyyyyyy!!!!!”

Jen, go read the Gospel for Sunday.

“Fine.“

*reads the Gospel*

“OK, in verse 2, it talks about Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness and being hungry because He didn’t eat anything. Then, Satan tempts Him by commanding him to turn stones into bread. Are you saying that you want me to starve and be tempted?”

Jen, you’re always going to be tempted. You are also not starving, instead simply limited by your inability to plan meals. My Son spent 40 times longer in the wilderness than you have spent doing Laura’s fast. You aren’t even fasting completely until noon like Coptic Christians do. You can deal with forgoing dairy and milk on weekdays and Saturdays. I promise that you can do this, so knock it off with the whining.

“OK, God. Over and out.”

Jen, the word is “Amen”.

“K. Amen. Bye.”

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

-Jen McCabe