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First Sunday in Lent: Wandering in the Wilderness

On this first Sunday in Lent, we meet up with Jesus, just after he has been baptized, roaming around in the “wilderness.” For him, the wilderness was desert – arid and barren, sand, stone, brush and scrub. But what he meets in that barren landscape is the clutter of his own spirit, told in the form of temptations offered to him that he had to work his way through. It’s a testing moment, one that would set the tone for the rest of the ministry he would do. A moment of sorting through desires, priorities, beliefs, competing commitments and possibilities of whom he could become.

Lent begins by inviting us to create our own “wilderness moment,” to carve out a space that provides enough room for us to take a long and bold look at what clutters our hearts and spirits. It’s as if we walk into a darkened room, filled with “stuff,” and flip on the light, taking a long and searching gaze at all that is keeping us feeling separate, distant from God, overwhelmed.

When you flip on the light, when you wander out into your wilderness, what do you encounter?

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