your Son was baptized
and tempted as we are.
Guide us through this season,
that we may not avoid struggle,
but open ourselves to blessing,
through the cleansing depths of repentance
and the heaven-rending words of the Spirit. Amen.
Lent is barely a week old, and already there are comments on FB and elsewhere about feeling burdened by the season's demands; perhaps you are feeling like you are locked in a car with young children for a long trip while they ask over and over again, "Are we there yet?" Or maybe you're taking to the journey with gusto.
As we prepare for the second Sunday in Lent, are you feeling inspired or overwhelmed? Embracing the journey or straying off the path? And how do this week's readings speak to you?
Our Old Testament reading continues with the theme of God's covenant with the people, this time the covenant made with Abram (soon to be Abraham) that he will become the ancestor of nations despite his advanced age. This passage is alluded to in our second reading, Paul's second letter to the church in Corinth, in which Paul encourages Jesus' followers to hold onto their faith -- as Abraham had -- and not be distracted by earthly things meant only to serve as pointers along the way (sort of like adhering so fiercely to our Lenten fast as an end in itself that we forget why we fast.)
The gospel finds Jesus rebuking Peter, "Get behind me, Satan!" when Peter cannot reconcile his nascent understanding of who Jesus is with Jesus' warnings about his suffering to come. How often do we let our own perceptions of how things "ought" to be stand in the way of true understanding?
Where are you headed on your Lenten journey this week, preachers? Share your ideas, inspirations, questions and frustrations -- comments are open!