Reflection on the Lectionary

18th February 2024

Bible Reading Mark 1:9-15

Dear Friends,

Today is the first Sunday of Lent. Lent is a journey we share with Christ as he approaches the end of his earthly life and the cross looms near. It is also a time of individual journeys when we consider our Christian faith and commitment and that of our church communities.

The reading is from Mark’s gospel. Jesus is baptised by John in the river Jordan and God, as a voice from heaven, affirms Jesus: ‘You are my Son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased.’ Immediately after this pronouncement Jesus journeyed into the desert to be alone and where he encountered tough temptations. God’s assurance and presence guided him through this torrid time. When Jesus left the wilderness, he was sure of who he was, God’s much-loved Son. He then began his ministry.

We too are loved by God and knowing this will help us cope with the difficult and uncertainties we all encounter from time to time; a time we might consider our desert time. As we age, we may not travel as freely as we would wish to meet with friends and families but worshipping together if we are able, as a group of Christians, enables us to journey together in faith and friendship. The weekly sheet gives us opportunity to be connected to folk we cannot meet. The thoughts expressed may enhance our belief or challenge our thinking but if we remember Jesus was challenged in the desert and made personal decisions so too, we can reflect and make choices.

As people loved by God, we can pray to him giving thanks for the good things such as friendships and families, we can pray for those we are un-able to meet with and maybe lonely, depressed or ill, pray for our church and neighbours.

As Lent continues its journey perhaps join with those meeting at church on a Wednesday afternoon sharing a Lent study booklet. All are welcome.

To hear another voice and have conversation especially for singles and those without close family is a godsend. God loves us and those we contact and those who contact us. Jesus was alone in the desert and trusted his Father; God is always alongside us. We put our trust in him.

Jesus faced a difficult and harrowing journey to Jerusalem. We journey with him in thought and prayer. Our journey may not be easy but we can still journey in hope.

God bless us on our journey through Lent and beyond, wherever that journey may lead us.

God you love us,

This coming week whatever we experience, wherever we find ourselves, help us to know as Jesus knew, that you are always with us.

Amen

Vivienne Lear