As we enter a third Lenten season of COVID casting a shadow on the tourism sector, public life and more, we are stretched to our limits. In this time of vulnerability and tension, our relationships have been strained by the temptation of demonising people who disagree with us on mask wearing, proclaiming individual rights over the good of all, and other pandemic-related issues, said Right Rev Hamish Galloway, Moderator of Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ). Like how Jesus was taunted and tempted to put God to the test after his forty-day fast, we now see politicians mocked publicly and threatened, police belittled, and even school students teased for wearing masks.
In navigating the tension, temptations and taunts in our context this Lent, the PCANZ Moderator encouraged church members to draw on deep spiritual resources that are still available today, for the resilience Jesus had. The first was the filling of the Holy Spirit. The second, a deep and informed use of scripture that empowered him to combat the misinformed misuse (of scripture) that was thrown at him, he said.