“And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the
Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved;
with you I am well pleased.’ And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in
the wilderness forty days.” – Mark 1:10-13
Ever have an incredible spiritual experience? One where you felt the presence of God so close
to you? One where you just knew that God had a plan for your life, and God was walking with you?
And then, has that feeling ever left just as soon as it came? And have you ever felt as though
you are lost in the wilderness?
Jesus knew what that was like. He knew what it was to emerge from the waters of baptism to
the voice of God proclaiming that God was “well pleased” with him. And he knew what it was to then
immediately be sent into the wilderness for forty hard days.
In Lent we are called into a different sort of wilderness for forty days. After the familiar songs,
raised candles, and joy of Christmas only a couple of months before, we are now in a time of stark
simplicity, repressed “Alleluias,” and a journey toward the cross. In times like this we Christians
must not seem like much fun to be around.
And yet, in Lent we are reminded that we make this journey because Jesus made it first.
Christ went into the wilderness to pray, and to fast, and to ready himself spiritually for what was to
come. And in Lent we do the same. We know that we too are journeying to the cross. But we have
the luxury of also knowing about the next part of the journey. We have the luxury of knowing about
the empty tomb.
And so in Lent we are preparing ourselves to be people of the Resurrection. We are going
deeper spiritually, and preparing ourselves to be the people we want to be on Easter morning. Lent
isn’t something to be endured. Lent is a wilderness journey that will lead us to new life.
In Lenten Peace,