A First Sunday Hope

February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, was the first Sunday of Lent 2012. The gospel readings for this year are from Mark. Mark, the first written of the gospels is a little like the Reader's Digest of the New Testament. There are shortened stories, a healthy dose of immediacy, and a lot of secrecy in Mark. Part of the first Sunday of Lent reading - Mark 1: 9 - 15  - was read on Baptism of the Lord Sunday in January. We know that God is well pleased with God's beloved. Then Jesus is immediately driven into the wilderness. The wilderness place is not an uncommon place for even good people to end up sometimes. There is the desert wilderness. Life has emptied us and depleted even our most basic resources. We end up parched and dry. There is thirst so deep, and we are so withered, our tongues cannot form a praise to sing. There is the wilderness of loneliness. This is a place of encroaching self-doubt, and negative self-talk. Does nobody want me? Doesn't anybody need me? Grief is it's own wilderness. Even though others stand as shadows beside us, we feel singular in our pain and the walk to the other side is clouded and we are weary. The insidious evil that dwells in the wilderness comes as temptation, challenge, seduction, below the radar and under the covers. Evil will take us to places of darkness and would have taken Jesus to such a place, except for the thing Mark tells us. Though Jesus was taken to the wilderness place, a place where Satan is taunting him, there are angels there to wait on him. Check it out in verse 15. Even in the first week of Lent, a hope is offered. Through the wilderness places of our own lives, there are angels present to accompany and attend us. God will not leave us alone to face our trials and temptations. Even in Lent, when we are invited to face our demons and come clean with the ways we have danced with the enemy, angels are present with us just as they were present with Jesus. So on a gray day when blue may be more than the color of the sky hidden by the clouds, listen for the whisper of angels in the air. Look for the signs of angels around you. God never leaves God's beloved alone in the wilderness. Hope reigns in the Kingdom of God. Sounds like Good News already!

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Ah, Holy Jesus
March 29, 2012

Older post
The Shining
February 19, 2012