Pastor's Corner

Pastor’s Corner

By February 29, 2020 No Comments

February 28, 2020

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.”  (Matthew 4)

The grumbling stomach.  The weary knees.  The tongue that wants for the comfort of familiar food.  And then consider the wilderness of the mind: the erratic thoughts, the loss of perspective, the bottomless fall of anxiety.  Our bodies invite our brains to consider panic when it becomes clear that normal rituals of creature comforts will not be returning any time soon.  And there is no shelter out here:  only the howling unknown, the pickpocketing wind, the darkness that creeps closer each night.  This is the terrible business of fasting in the wilderness.

And yet.  The wilderness also offers its blessings: chief of which is renewed clarity about who we really are, absent so many distractions; and Whose we really are, absent so many temptations to worship something less than God.   In our gospel reading in worship on this First Sunday of another Lenten season, Matthew takes us by the hand and leads us out to where Jesus is: in the wilderness of famished clarity.   Says one commentator on this moment:  “Jesus has just been called and ordained in baptism. Now he is tempted to become three different kinds of messiah: prosperity giver, miracle worker, or political leader. But Jesus repudiates each temptation with a quote from Deuteronomy and says he will let God define his ministry.”

May it be so for us well.  See you Sunday.  RWH