Led by the Spirit
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
~ Matthew 4:1(entire reading is 1–11)
Breath Prayer: “Holy Spirit” “lead me”
In Matthew’s gospel we are reminded that Jesus’ ministry took steps in and through the wilderness. Closely paralleling Moses’ forty years in the desert, we are told that Jesus walked for forty days. Through these mornings into evenings perhaps he listened for the words from Deuteronomy, “The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”
In this season of Lent as we take our first steps into the wilderness, may we carry nothing more than what we need. Set aside the extras for this will be a time when we are asked to walk farther and longer than we are used to. Leave behind all the things we bring `just in case.’ These days will have enough for us to carry in our hearts. This time is set aside to prepare us for what matters most to our faith. As Jesus was tested, so we will be asked to look deeply into what is at the heart of our faithful walk with God.
Prayer: Precious Jesus, take our hands. Companion us on this journey of 40 days. We pray to follow you and with your loving presence, may our faith be strengthened and renewed, one step at a time. Amen.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.