Today’s passage reveals once again Jesus had a very human experience. He like us had to deal with his stumbling blocks (Satan) before starting his mission. After a heavenly baptism the Spirt “cast him out,” into the wilderness. He eventually emerge with clarity about who he was and what purpose he was to serve. Our wilderness experiences are not punishment. They are an opportunity to grown emotionally and spiritually. We end the sermon with what a focus on what voices are we listening too.
- Today we start the Season of Lent. It is a time a contemplation
- Notice the sequence of events. Jesus is baptized, the heavens open up, God is well pleased and the Spirit sent him (Cast Out!) into the wilderness to be tempted.
- Mark’s account does not give the details that Matthew and Luke do.
- I feel we can all relate to Jesus’ experience all too well.
Something wonderful turns into a nightmare in a heart beat.
- COVID did that to a lot of people. World wide what did we learn? Who and What will we become?
- Jesus just like the rest of us had to experience the harsh and unpleasant before moving on to his purpose in the world.
- Tempted by Satan—-Stumbling block
- While he was baptized and immersed in the Spirit he had to figure our who and what he was to do in this world.
- What were his stumbling blocks?
- Here is the thing to remember, he emerged from the wilderness. He was not meant to stay there! Our wilderness experiences are not forever experiences.
- We are meant by the Spirit to learn from wilderness and then re-enter the world with clarity and purpose.
John was in Prison
- Jesus was free to proclaim the Kingdom of God dad arrive right there with him.
- The big difference between John and Jesus. John’s way needed to be put away.
- The Time has Come—kairos—Eternal time.
Our time is NOW! What do we find ourselves immersed in?
What are the stumbling blocks that keep us in prison?
- Jesus call out to us to Repent and believe the good news!”
- The wilderness is where repentance takes place
- What is the work you need to do so you can emerge from the wilderness with clarity and purpose?
- What are the voices around you and in your mind telling you about who you are?
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (Harper Collins, 1997), 13.
Many voices ask for our attention. There is a voice that says, "Prove that you are a good person."
Another voice says, "You'd better be ashamed of yourself."
There also is a voice that says, "Nobody really cares about you," and one that says, "Be sure to become successful, popular and powerful."
But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says, "You are my Beloved; my favor rests on you."
That's the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen.
That's what prayer is. It is listening to the voice that calls us "my Beloved."
--Henri J.M. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (Harper Collins, 1997), 13.
Call to Celebration
God of Expansion, we enter this time of worship in hope.
Space and time are in your hands.
We come with the desire to release that which no longer serves us well.
We arrive in anticipation of receiving new birth.
Our transformational moment is now.
What was is behind us.
Present is before us.
As we hold space for then and now, remind us of the promise of our baptism: new life emerges.
God, as we offer what we have to you this day, thank you for Jesus who modeled resilience in wilderness. “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch, what makes you go beyond the norm.” We treasure the gifts of our daily experiences. Amen (The quote above is by Cecily Tyson)
Bringing in the Light
Concerns & Celebrations
Mark 1: 9-15