Our Ministries
16 Feb

First Sunday of Lent

A Desert Survival Kit

The season of Lent invites us to enter the desert. In the Gospel this weekend we read “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert….for forty days, tempted by Satan….and the angels ministered to him.”

Imagine yourself on such a journey into the desert. What temptations would you face? Who would be the angels, the helpers ministering to you?

The desert isn’t always the arid land depicted in this image. The desert can be any place where we are alone, isolated from those who might be accompanying us, guiding us, keeping us honest and accountable. What are some of the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that we indulge in that take us away from our path to God and that threaten our relationships with the people most important in our lives?  When are we most vulnerable to such temptations?

Perhaps our temptations are addictions to viewing pornography, to accumulating more than we need of material possessions, to abusing power in relationships, to blaming others for things going wrong. Perhaps they are participating in some of the social sins like failure to recognize the dignity of persons who are gay, undocumented, poor, homeless, old, of a different race, creed or ideology, or political party.

Our journey in Lent is one of movement, of change, of conversion. Some would suggest that we create a “Desert Survival Kit.” What would be in yours? Do you have favorite prayers, Scriptures, people who are your spiritual guides, mentors or people who wish you well and you can trust, and activities that help you most when you are tempted?

And we pray always: “Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.” Help us too to remember daily the words we heard when we received our ashes: “Repent, and believe in the gospel.”