February 17, 2013

The first Sunday of Lent begins a period of waiting.  We are waiting for Easter.  During Lent, we learn how to wait.  We learn what waiting means.  No matter what our disappointments or struggle in life, through them all we are waiting for God.  Waiting, and preparing our hearts while waiting, is what Lent is all about.  We all experience our Lenten moments at various times in our spiritual journey.
 
Each year, on the first Sunday of Lent, the scripture asks us to consider the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness.  Given that the last petition in the Lord’s Prayer is seeking guidance amidst our own struggles, our testing, our discernment of "evil," I believe this passage has a message for us, today.  The lectionary pairs this story with the Israelites entering the Promised Land, that moment of celebration when their testing was over.  They more than endured the wilderness; they conquered their fears and developed the courage to claim what was already theirs.  This gives us a clue as to the opportunities people have during their hard times.   

Spiritually, Lent is a journey we all take from time to time.  Waiting.  Eating manna in the wilderness while dreaming of eating the fruits of the Promised Land, and celebrating in that anticipation, even when everything in our world is discouraging.
 
The sermon Sunday will be about patience, confident patience, waiting with patience, knowing that no matter what our struggles, God promises better days.