And straightaway the spirit throws him out into the desert. 13 And he was in the desert forty days being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild beasts and the angels were ministering to him.
(also Matthew 4:1-11)
Queries/ Reflections: (Looking out over Melbourne skyline from Collins Street Baptist Church Rooftop, 9th floor).
What do you discern, sense or feel? What words spring to mind in a place like this?
Noticing different layers of the city. Sky, Scape, Street. Who has access, is included or excluded at each layer? On what basis?
God as sky, transcending built environment, beyond… Tower of Babel Genesis 11. God looks down…
Architecture is one way of telling the story of a city. Some people say we build things (usually ‘up’) to express what we value. If you were driving in to the city, from the margins to the centre, 160 years ago, what skyline would you have noticed? This reflected a time when the church was at the centre of the culture.
160 years down the track, what is the dominant skyline today? What is the biggest party in town? To what do we ascribe value? What shifts does this reflect and how does this make you feel?
Temptation story of Jesus expanded in Matthew 4…. Consider images of pinnacles of temples, kingdoms of the world and all their splendor then and now. What are the forms of economic power (bread), ideological power (temple pinnacle) and political power (kingdoms) that exist in our own context? What might it mean to say NO to these kinds of power, even for a time, in your life or as a city? Is this imaginable? Why/ Why not?
In light of the way of Jesus, is it a negative thing that the church is no longer at the centre of cultural power?