March 1st’s gospel re-tells the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. With increased urbanization and congestion in our metropoles, I increasingly feel pulled toward “wilderness experiences” (not helped by an adventurous spirit). Judging from the number of ads I find in snail & e-mail, as well as the Facebook posts that catch my eye, the pull toward the wilderness is shared.
During a conference I attended last Saturday,* this prayer was offered – and it continues to resonate as our Lenten “wilderness journey with Jesus” progresses:
you sometimes left
so that people could face themselves.
May we face our selves,
in the wilderness and the world,
the forces that drive us,
so that they do not always drive
*Last Saturday, about fifty persons from the Dioceses of Ohio and Southern Ohio gathered in Worthington for GO: Doing Mission with Eyes Wide Open – a fabulous day with a keynote address by our denomination’s Global Mission Personnel officer, Elizabeth Boe, and great follow-up workshops. Several our workshop leaders combined efforts in December to prepare an online course, available, free of charge, to anyone in our dioceses (go to Churchnext.tv, create your personal account, when given the option to apply a coupon/certificate, type in “eyeswideopen”). Check it out!
Shalom, Fr. Jeff