Dear Friends,

Imagine 40 days without technology: no tv, no computer, no cell phone. Then, imagine no entertainment: no movie theaters, no malls, no video games. Now, imagine no conveniences: no banks, no supermarkets, no Starbucks. This would mean that there would be no internet, no news, no youTube or twitter, no Facebook, no checking of e mail. It would be just you and nature interacting with the elements and the environment; listening to God, but also hearing other voices, and your own voice inside your head.

That’s what Jesus did. Matthew 4 suggests that Jesus was led into the desert. Mark writes that he was driven into the wilderness where there were wild beasts, but also the presence and protection of angels. There, he prayed, fasted, and faced temptations. Assuming that Satan wasn’t testing or tormenting him the whole time, I wonder what else Jesus did during those days.

What would you do? Maybe hike around and explore. Take time to think and reflect about our lives. We could take more time to worship – pray, sings songs to God, build an altar, recall familiar scriptures. It could be a time to discern; to envision the future, to renew one’s self. Our own 40 days of Lent are not even close to what Jesus had to go through, but we are invited to ponder and pray, to identify and withstand our temptations, to surrender to God’s spirit, to abstain from the usual indulgences. What else can we do during this time? We can journal, we can read more scripture than we usually do. We can carve out more quiet time. Did I say that Lent was my favorite liturgical season of the Christian calendar? Let’s embrace Lent with its special opportunities.

—Pastor Bob