by Camille Z. Roddy
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[a] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:9-15)
As a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I along with fellow alumni have mourned the recent loss of two icons in the Tar Heel family: my classmate, ESPN Sports Center anchor, Stuart Scott and Coach Dean Smith. Both were men of great integrity, stemming from a faith exemplified in their conduct behind and in front of the spot light. Stories shared about each man by friends and family provide evidence these stallworth sport figures lived out their baptisms by showing and giving love to their fellow man.
Dean Smith was remembered in an on campus memorial service by current UNC Coach Roy Williams for playing practice and scrimmage games at local prisons. Stuart Scott lent his celebrity status to advance health care issues affecting minority men—a population often least able to afford services. In an interview, Coach Smith noted the importance of discipline. It was his belief that a disciplined person was free and could thus meet and excel at any task. Discipline was a shared belief of both Scott and Smith.
Jesus’ forty day wilderness experience offers the greatest example of discipline for us all to follow during Lent. Alone and with no one watching, Jesus withstood temptation after temptation. He could freely proclaim the good news in the light after withstanding tests in the dark. In this season of growing closer to God, we should allow ourselves to exam our actions, thoughts and deeds done in the dark prohibiting our ability to proclaim the good news with integrity. God wants us to be free of those things which would cause Satan to trap us in the light. Paraphrasing Scott’s famous Espy speech, we beat Satan by how we live, why we live and the manner in which we live.
Camille Z. Roddy is a native of Winston-Salem, NC and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987. She is a member at St. Paul United Methodist Church in her hometown, teaching Sunday school for the Young Adults and serving as Outreach Coordinator for the church. She has Lay Leader training and is presently completing graduate work for Deacon in the UMC Western North Carolina conference.