March 2019: To Embrace and Love
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:11
As we prepare for Easter, we cannot celebrate life in Jesus without acknowledging the pain and suffering around us. We cannot be prostrate at the foot of the cross without looking up to see the nails that tore through our Savior’s flesh. How then can we worship God freely and truly when vicious human desire tears through humanity as a whole?
Fiji prides itself in being a Christian country and yet we fail to live up to the simplest Christian command to love your neighbor. Although this tiny island nation is thousands of miles away from the nations that control the world’s economy, we are sadly no different in our response to those who need a space to live – the refugees of our time.
Jesus, after going through an intense degree of fasting and being tested by the devil, was attended by angels. Matthew 4:11 says, “Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” The word angels in Greek also means messenger. The word attended or ministered in Greek also hints at helping from one’s own means. The angels in Matthew were probably supernatural beings, or they could have been humans who attended to Jesus’ needs out of love instead of deceiving him.
We deceive people when we want something in return. This is exactly the nature in which Satan tempted Jesus. Every offer comes with a deceiving “promise.” We need to help without holding back. We need to embrace our brothers and sisters without fear and doubt. Creating a safe environment for us to live in begins with love.
Niko Tapaeko serves as a Long-term Volunteer with the Pacific Council of Churches in Fiji. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.