Posted on Thu, Mar 17, 2011
March 17, 2011 Leah Kidwell-Fernandes
8th Day of Lent Mark 1: 9-15
Im am not exactly an adventurous girl. I generally prefer to teke my excercise in the gym or on my treadmill at home--not in the great outdoors. My version of communing with nature usually involves taking walks alond the paved paths that run through the wooded ares around my subdivision. I listen to the birds sing. I see the occasional wild turkey. It's wilderness enough for me. I've never been camping, but i did go, my version would involve setting up my tent at the nearest Hilton. besides, I have lettle sence of direction. I'd get lost in the woods quite easily. I'd probably never find my way back home. Drop me in the middle of the wilderness, and thing would likely end very badly.
In both a literal and spirtuals sence, the wilderness can be an unsettling environment. Removed from the fimliar, it can be a disorienting place--a place of isolation--a place of wandering , questioning, testing, and confusion. For Mark, Jesus's wildernesssojourn seems to have been the pivotal moment between his baptism and the begining of his ministry. At thisbaptism, Jesus recieves words of affirmation, and the spirit, dove-like desends. With the heavnly voice still ringing in his ears, Jesus is driven into the wilderness by the spirit. Mark tell us tantalizing little about what happens next. Jesus is in the wilderness 40 days, tempted by satan. There are wild beast. The angles wait on Jesus. it is a period of testing and trial. It's a kind of physical and spiritual boot camp for the Messiah. Somehow God makes His presence and comfort known through the ministry of angles. Above all, it is a period of preperation that in some way empowers Jesus to emerge from the wilderness proclaiming the good news.
In the midst of our own wilderness sojourns, it is difficult at times to see beyond our own pain and confusion. It is a challenge to trust that God will one day use our brokenness, our own test and trials, to prepare us in some way to proclaim the good news. In the season of Lent, may we find the courage to pray that God will use the wilderness places of our lives to equip us for our particular ministry to bring God's healing to the world.
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