Discover Who We Really Are, Part 3
Kris Judd of Des Moines, iA, USA
Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. -Deuteronomy 8:2
The wilderness the Spirit led Jesus into for 40 days offered him significant time for reflection and prayer and little distraction from his purpose and calling. It was a time of preparation for the challenges ahead. The scriptural image of Jesus’ temptation in the desert comes right before he enters the synagogue to unroll the scroll of Isaiah and boldly proclaim his mission.
The author of Luke 4 informs us that during this time in the wilderness, alone and famished, the devil tempted Jesus to denounce his true identity and serve himself and his own needs. The 40 days had underlined for him who he truly was, enabling him to resist the “if you are the son of God” challenge with truth and rebuke the illusions and untruths he had been offered.
Lenten Reflection Questions:
- How might the wilderness of Lent bring the gift of space for deeper reflection and prayer?
- What has underlined for you who you really are?
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Lenten Spiritual Practices
Moving Toward the Peaceful One
As Jesus was nearing the final days of his life, he wept over the city and proclaimed, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:41-42).What are the things that make for peace in our lives, communities, and around the world? During the Lenten season, spend time in silent refection or journaling each day to notice: Am I moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One? Pay attention to your attitudes, actions, and relationships this day. When did you most embody the peaceful One in your daily living? When were your thoughts or actions contrary to the peace of Jesus Christ? How might Jesus, the peaceful One, who is always near to you, be inviting you to draw nearer to him through your daily living?
Fasting and Giving-$40 in 40 Days
A Lenten fast gives us an opportunity to make space in our lives so that God can live in and through us. It’s a time to evaluate what we hunger for most and what we consume. This year, we’ve been invited to tithe as a spiritual practice by setting aside $40 during the 40 days of Lent. If you are participating, pay attention today to the dollar you have given. What might you have done with that dollar otherwise? How does Lenten generosity invite you to reflect on what is “enough” in your life? Who might you invite to join you in this practice? How might your gift be magnified by the many others responding to the same call?
You can make your $40 offering anytime during the Lenten season online or through your offering envelope for Worldwide Mission Tithes.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.