The Sanctified Art Creative Team (which prepared our gorgeous, chock-full-of-Spirit-wisdom Lenten Devotionals) defines wilderness as “state of the wild.” The season of Lent has its ancient roots in the story of Jesus’s wilderness journey at the beginning of his ministry. A time of struggle, perseverance, trial, and transformation. During this season in the wild, Jesus was formed and forged for all the ministry that was to come.
Lent is a time of fresh starts and wilderness growth for all who dare to accept the Spirit's invitation to surrender into this holy season. We are offered the opportunity to seek clarity on a particular question that’s been nagging us deep in our bones. Others will use this time as space for clearing aside the underbrush which can choke new growth - whittling away the extraneous to focus on what matters most. Lenten practices might include cutting out the extra chatter in our lives or listening more intently to the voices which give life. Some of us will choose to abstain from something during this season while others might choose to add a new practice to our daily routine.
There is not a singular, “right” way to do Lent. There is only the invitation to step into the wilderness.
We don’t necessarily know what will happen to us during our time out there in the wild. The stars overhead at night can be beautiful, but as the chill of evening sets in we might also start to feel worried or afraid. Gazing at the horizon, we put one foot in front of the other even though we’re not sure exactly where we’re headed.
In Lent, the journey itself is often the destination.
But we go forth into this season in confidence. Confident that if we surrender ourselves to the wide open spaces the Spirit will move within and among us, bringing new light and life as the days lengthen. Confident that we are not alone. We journey into the wild places with fellow travelers of The Way. We go, also, with the assurance that there is no place too wild or barren for God’s accompaniment. We travel into the wilderness with Christ as our model, knowing that if the wilderness was good enough for him….well, surely it holds promises for us, as well.
Let go. Surrender. Make a bold (or tentative) movement into the wilderness. Jesus is waiting for us in the desert places, the wide-open spaces, the wild.
JOURNEY WITH US: LEARN MORE ABOUT LENT AT FIRST CONGREGATIONAL