239 – Wilderness – Intention on the Spiritual Journey

This past Sunday I was with a congregation where we were reading Mark 1 and thinking about “Wilderness.” We noticed the Gospel writer reminded us that the prophets spoke about the wilderness, that John’s “pulpit” was in the wilderness, that John attracted an audience (which included Jesus) in the wilderness, and that Jesus was called/driven deeper into the wilderness.

It seems we spent a goodly amount of time in the wilderness before we heard Jesus announce, “The time has come … The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Some time along the way it occurred to me that Lent is something of an “institutionalized” wilderness for us.

Lent offers us a way to get a taste of the wilderness the prophets and John tell us about and Jesus experiences. And like Jesus we do not experience it alone. For some of our companions we have the Scripture, Jesus’s example, and the company of other Christians. We might even encounter a few “wild beasts” and “angels” in some form.

As you make your journey from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday, to Good Friday and on to Easter, who will accompany you? Who (or what) will be your “angels”? How might “wild beasts” show up? How will the Kingdom come nearer and nearer?

And don’t discount the idea that you may be called/driven to be God’s angel for someone else.

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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