Thursday, February 23, 2006

In the desert

This is an excerpt from a liturgy posted by Jordon Cooper, and it seems appropriate as we approach Lent:

So Jesus goes into the desert, away from the pigeonholes of job and family to ask God who he really is. And by the end of the 40 days, Satan's repeated question “if you are the son of God...” tells us that Jesus had found out.

So who does God think you are?

In the desert all the things that we define our identities are missing and we are left with nothing except what we have inside. A lot of us fear that we found we had nothing inside, or only fear and pain, and so we never venture into the desert. In the desert there is nowhere to hide, if God comes to us, as he came to Jesus, as he came to Moses, as he came to Jacob, to show us who we really are to him. And we clutch our thin rags of identity to us like armor, and shrink back from his touch—better the little we have, we say, than risk even that being taken away as well.
If there ever is a time for "looking at God looking at you" it is during Lent. Yes, there are things to do during this season, things that are often very helpful -- but this is not a season about doing. If there is one time in the world when each one of us needs to spend some "quality time" with God, to do a little relationship building, it is during Lent. It's time to head to the desert, even if it is only inside our hearts and minds.

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