This Sunday we go into the wilderness with Jesus as we observe the First Sunday of Lent. Luke 4:1-13 is a common gospel text for this time of year, as it provides some background and shape for the Lenten season. Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness. The season of Lent is forty days. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be spiritually formed for ministry. As we observe Lent, we also are being formed for ministry. We generally avoid the wilderness–a place we associate with emptiness and suffering! But Jesus found the wilderness to be a place of refining and training for ministry. So I invite you to enter the wilderness with Jesus this Lenten season. Come and feed on God’s Word and gain the power to resist temptation. Come and be refined, renewed and prepared for ministry.
A Prayer for Lent (from the Transforming Center [Lenten eReflection])
Lord our God, you alone do we worship, only your word gives life. Sustain your church on its Lenten journey. When we walk through the desert of temptation, strengthen us to renounce the power of evil. When our faith is tested by doubt, illumine our hearts with Easter’s bright promise. We ask this through Christ, our deliverance and hope, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, holy and mighty God forever and ever. AMEN.