In our modern society, what role can religion play in enriching and improving the lives of Canadians?
The devil tempts Jesus early in his ministry in three ways. The first is this: pointing to the rocky ground he says “Command these stones to turn into bread.” Even though Jesus has fasted for 40 days, he refuses. “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” he quotes. The devil’s temptation is an age old one – that our physical needs can be met without our spiritual ones. It’s the way that many world empires have tried to flourish – the Roman emperors boasted they built a world empire on “bread and circuses.” Jesus doesn’t fall for this. He knows we need peace with God if there is to be peace on earth. He knows that we will never really know love amongst one another if we do not also know the love of God – the love that is both from God and for God.
I heard someone say the other day in connection with 9/11, “Religion is the greatest evil on this planet.” But it was religion, the love of God, that led Jesus to the cross, to die for the likes of you and me, who deserve God’s wrath. Jesus lays the basis for a whole new way of living. In him we learn humility, servanthood, forgiveness, integrity, worship, and more – where life is really lived.