February 23, 2009

Hey! You remember Mark 1.9-15?

We've already heard most of this story. We heard the first half on the first Sunday after Epiphany - the Baptism. We heard the last verse with an expanded lesson on the third Sunday after Epiphany. This Sunday, the first in Lent, we combine them, and add a verse or two about Jesus' temptation in the desert.

Mark's version is so short it is almost comical.

"And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him."

Imagine being in Mark's church. Imagine hearing only this about the Temptation. It leaves us with a lot of questions, and very few answers.
  • Why did the Spirit drive him to temptation?
  • Why the "wilderness"?
  • What did the temptations look like?
  • What does it mean that he was with the wild beasts?
  • How did the angels wait on him?
  • What is going on?
As we prepare for our annual 40 day journey into the wilderness I think it is important to ask these questions. What role does the Spirit play in our own holy Lent? Where is our wilderness? Will angels wait on us? What is going on? Lent may not be "fun" but it most certainly can be life-changing; if we let it. Likewise, Jesus' 40 days, about which Mark gives us only 33 words, was life-changing, if not history-of-the-world-altering. Quite frankly, I'm looking forward to the journey.

1 comment:

Roshi Doshi said...

angels would be nice...