First Sunday of Lent

& archive, Year A.

Prayer before reading:

Lord Jesus Christ,
You  call us to come
To be with you.
By your Spirit help me
To see you,
To hear you,
To receive your Spirit,
To be led by your Spirit.
Amen

Read slowly. Listen deeply. Indwell the scripture.

Season of Lent:  Week One

The Lenten journey draws us into the desert and in many ways leaves us there for a season.  Why the desert?  “The desert has nothing to offer. It affords no hiding place, no refuge. It is a place of desolation and liberation. But the desert is not merely a place. It is a symbol of Christian experience. The desert as both place and experience becomes associated with journeying; with testing (to discern and sift); with seeking another country, a promised land – the reality of the kingdom of God.” (from John Moses, The Desert: An Anthology for Lent. Morehouse, 1997. 15)

Being in the desert is no escape from the realities of the world’s system, rather it is a place where God frees us from our captivity to what the world offers. This season in the wilderness releases us gradually from our attachments and from the myriad of distractions that keep us occupied and unable to see God’s presence and work within and around us. This season in the desert prepares us to be in the world, but not of the world. Jesus is here, in this desert place – facing into the lure of how to be successful, how to attract people’s attention, how to prove God is present. But he chooses to trust, to rest in Abba. He sees the temptation for what it is. Rather than turning stones into bread, he trusts God to offer manna in the wilderness.

As the lectionary guides us into the gospel narratives which in turn lead us to Jerusalem, we will become aware of the tension this journey to Golgotha sets up for Jesus’ followers. This journey to Jerusalem is a desert for them – for the structures and attachments to which they cling are being exposed and challenged. And they are not yet ready to receive the map Jesus offers them in this wilderness of life and soul.

The invitation here is to enter into the silence and solitude of this desert journey, and to learn to be with Jesus – who in turn dwells in the presence of Abba God, and receives help and sustenance.  Here we are brought face to face with our own interior world, and God. This is the Lenten journey.

Prayer before reading:

Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us.
Help me to see as you see,
To recognize your presence
In the desert,
And to learn God’s way.
Amen

 

Season of Lent:  Week One

  • 3/8      Monday:  Matthew 6:1-6
  • 3/8      Tuesday: Matthew 6:16-21
  • 3/9      Ash Wednesday: Psalm 51:1-17;
  • 3/10    Thursday: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
  • 3/11    Friday:  Romans 5:12-19
  • 3/12    Saturday:  Matthew 4:1-11
  • 3/13    Sunday: Matthew 4:1-11