Lent 1 :: Seeking God

“Jesus… was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.” [Luke 4.1]

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Lent at St. John’s, Mankato

You know, he wasn’t the first.

People have been seeking desert or wilderness experiences almost since the beginning of time. There’s just something about being in wilderness territory that draws people. Getting in touch with oneself. Seeking an experience of the Holy. Being challenged to survive using one’s own wits and ingenuity. Abiding in a place of total desert otherness so as to receive a glimpse of God’s Otherness. All these possibilities and more have led countless women and men to seek a wilderness place. That’s how the monastic movement in Christianity got its start.

And it’s how Jesus got his start, or, rather, being led by the Spirit in the wilderness was what brought clarity and purpose to his life and future ministry.

It is in the wilderness places of our lives that we often go to seek God. And it is in the wilderness place that God seeks us.

That’s what Lent is for. A wilderness place, a desert if you will—a thin place—where we come to more fully understand that we need God. And to know that God most fervently desires us.

RCL Lectionary for the First Sunday in Lent, Year C

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