The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him. -Mark 1:12-13
We all go through wilderness experiences in our Christian journey. We enjoy great highs in our walk with God, but most all of us at some point will find ourselves in spiritual turmoil, periods that can shake even our deepest convictions and leave us with more questions than answers about life and faith.
Though we don't know a lot about the forty days Jesus spent in the desert before his temptation, we do know it was a time of fasting. When Satan tempted him, the conquering words of scripture were quick on Jesus' tongue, so it may have been a time of meditation and prayer, a time of special communion with his Father.
Lent is indeed a time of reflection and wondering as we make our journey to the cross. The Lenten season provides opportunity for personal meditation and penitence, but it is also a very communal journey. We never journey alone, no matter how "lost" or "lonely" we may feel. As the body of Christ, we are always journeying together.
If we will allow ourselves to share experiences with a close friend, or with our worshiping community, we can enjoy and share the support and environment that allows grace to flourish. Let us pray for one another on this pilgrimage to Easter joy!
Prayer for Today
Lord, who throughout these forty days for us
did fast and pray;
Teach us with you to mourn our sins and
close by you to stay.
As you with Satan did contend
and did the victory win,
O give us strength to persevere,
in you to conquer sin.
And through these days of penitence,
and through this Passion-tide,
Yes, evermore, in life and death,
O Lord, with us abide.
Abide with us, till when this life of
suffering shall be past,
An Easter of unending joy
we may attain at last.