Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. (Luke 4:1-2)
These forty days called Lent are like no other. It is our opportune time to return to the God who rescues; to receive the gifts of God’s grace; to believe with the heart and confess with the mouth the wonder of God’s love in Jesus; and to resist temptation at every turn. This is no small pilgrimage on which we have just embarked. It is a struggle Jesus knew. It is a struggle Jesus shares. The nearness of the Lord, in bread and wine, water and word, will uphold and sustain us.
Sunday Worship Music
Traditional Worship Music — 326— Bless Now, O God, the Journey —
In our hymn of the day we sing, “Bless now, O God, the journey that all your people make, the path through noise and silence, the way of give and take.” If ever we need to live these words, it is today … now. The start of our “journey” through Lent, will offer us ample opportunity to do so.
New Day Worship Song — Remind ME Who I Am — In New Day, our Worship Song voices these words, “When I lose my way, And I forget my name, Remind me who I am , In the mirror all I see Is who I don’t wanna be , Remind me who I am “ It is a Lenten call, this act of remembrance, and our Lenten season offers us the opportunity to remember that God names us as his.
For Your Reflection
In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year’s income to some holy use. For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year’s days. After being baptized by John in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness, where he spent forty days asking himself the question at it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves. When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore? Is there any person in the world or any cause that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for? If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it? To hear yourself try to answer questions like these is to begin to hear something not only of who you are, but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sackcloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.
~~ Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark