Something to think about
How many sins can you think of that begin with ‘self’? I got as far as selfishness, self-centredness, self-indulgence, self-reliance, and self-pity. But in a sense, all sin begins with self, because it happens when we take our eyes off of God and neighbour.
The temptations of Jesus in the desert are in some sense archetypal. They represent the lure of material goods, the desire to control God and circumstance, and the temptation to take power for ourselves. Much has been written about how these struggles might play out in more mundane circumstances, but I wonder if they all come together in that most ordinary of ambitions: ‘looking after my own’. Keeping our families fed and safe is of course not a wrong desire, but it can lead us to turn increasingly inwards, unable to either see and support the needs of others around us or to be vulnerable enough to receive help and hospitality from others in turn. Community is a great antidote to many of those ‘self’ sins.
Bread alone is not enough, in the sense that we need sustaining relationship with our creator. And bread alone is not enough, in the sense that feeding ourselves without feeding one another leaves everyone diminished.