Jesus began his ministry to the world, led by the Spirit into the wilderness. In those forty days, and in that place, Jesus was faced with hunger, doubt, and temptation. Jesus left the wilderness, faithful and obedient to God, rejoicing in the One in whom he trusted. As we begin our Lenten journey, let us be led by the Spirit, even into the uncomfortable places.
Prayer of Confession
God of our ancestors and of our lives, you know too well our attempts to play God as we manage things for our own advantage and not yours. Forgive those times we rely on our own wit and wisdom instead of seeking spiritual depths of
faith in you. Heal those chasms we create, cutting ourselves off from sisters and brothers, and from you. Help us to trust. Lead us to discover joy. Teach us to show kindness, and hear our silent prayers which we offer now . . .
Psalter Lesson: Psalm 25: 1-10 NRSV
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord! Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
Gospel Lesson: Mark 1: 12-15 NRSV
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
- No. 260 – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
- No. 81 – Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days
- No. 87 – The Glory of These Forty Days
“In the Wilderness—a Time of Learning” – Rev. Scott G. Loomer