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Wilderness Wonderings on the Way of Love

2/14/2018 – 3/30/2018

The 40 days of Lent begin this year on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday February 14, and are followed with Easter on April Fool’s Day, Sunday April 1. This year, we will journey together wandering in our own Lenten wilderness as we follow Jesus from his baptism, into the desert and up to Jerusalem to face his death. As we do so, we will wonder about the foolishness of following the way of Christ’s love.

February 14 (Ash Wednesday) – Love’s Faithfulness – Psalm 51:10, Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
February 18 – Desert Dangers – Mark 1:9-15
February 25 – Nonsensical Wisdom – Mark 8:31-38
March 4 – Deceiving Appearances – John 2:13-22
March 11 – Illuminating Faith – John 3:14-21
March 18 – Disarrayed Vision – John 12:20-33
March 25 (Palm Sunday) – Looming Shadows – Mark 14:1-15:47
March 30 (Good Friday) – Cross Ways – John 18:1-19:42

looming shadows - wilderness wonderings on the way of love

Looming Shadows

Judas Iscariot, was one of the 12 disciples and he was the one who held the common purse. So, up to this point, Judas was a well-loved trusted disciple. And then Judas goes to the chief priests and tells them he can lead them to Jesus. Ever since that day, Christians have pointed fingers at…

disarrayed vision - wilderness wonderings on the way of love

Disarrayed Vision

I wonder what it was like for Jesus to realize that his death was imminent. Not many of us know the exact date and time that we will die. Had Jesus assumed like we do that he would live until old age? When did Jesus realize he wouldn’t? Yet now, here he is in this passage, acknowledging that the writing is on the wall – that ‘the hour has come’ for him to face his death. His friends, his disciples, have not yet come to that conclusion. They do not understand that he is going to die soon. Their vision for the future was about to be in disarray. (John 12:20-33)

illuminating faith - wilderness wonderings on the way of love

Illuminating Faith

Looking at the cross forces us to face our desire to dwell in the dark places and invites us to step into the light. But, all this talk of light and dark reminds me of a visit I made a couple of years ago to Australia. I was in Queensland but we traveled down to…

deceiving appearances - wilderness wonderings on the way of love

Deceiving Appearances

Imagine the scene: You are in the outer court of the temple. It is Passover, and you have come from Galilee, nearly 100 miles away and you’ve been walking for 5 days. Are you tired? Excited? Are you alone or with friends and family? The temple court is packed with people jostling each other. There’s a lot of trading going on. How noisy is it with all the people and lots of chattering, and bartering? What’s it smell like? But now you need to purchase an appropriate sacrifice to atone for your sins, and you have to exchange some money so you can pay your temple tax. (John 2:13-22)

nonsensical wisdom - wilderness wonderings on the way of love

Nonsensical Wisdom

In today’s scripture, the wisdom that Jesus spoke about a suffering, rejected, dying Messiah was totally nonsensical wisdom. So much so that Peter couldn’t keep quiet and he took Jesus on and scolded Jesus. As well as telling them that he was going to suffer and die, Jesus told them that he would rise again after three days. It is the final foolishness to the scenario Jesus paints.  (Mark 8:31-38)

desert dangers - wilderness wonderings on the way of love

Desert Dangers

A wilderness is a hostile place, where you will experience trials and challenges. It is a place where you will be tempted whether to do something or to deny something. Perhaps your wilderness looks like a solo camping trip in the desert. Or it might be another physical place altogether, or perhaps it is a spiritual place. It could be a place that you choose to go, or one where you currently find yourself. It might be a place you can choose to leave or maybe you have no choice but to stay. (Mark 1:9-15)

love's faithfulness - wilderness wonderings on the way of love

Love’s Faithfulness

The forty days of Lent are a time for us to take stock of our lives and how we are loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and where we fall short. Those scriptures we read make several mentions of our hearts and remind us of the work we are called to do during Lent. (Psalm 51:1-17, Joel 2:1-2, 12-17)