Reflections from Pastor Matthew for the First Sunday in Lent:

In the first lesson for this first Sunday in Lent we hear about how the Lord God, repented of God's own wrathful destruction of the creation in the wake of the flood...Yes, that's right, God repented of a hardened heart against God's own creation and promised never to do it again...Just let that sit with you for a while.  Isn't that something? isn't that encouraging?  Some find the idea of God changing God's mind unsettling and reason for fear, I find it so very encouraging.  God was sick and tired of the wickedness of what God had created and had decided to clear the slate and begin again. God was angered and that anger was just.  What happens after that wrath was spent however, tells us about the primary movement of God toward God's creation.   God repented of God's righteous anger not because it was unjust but because the nature of God is more loving that angry, more desirous of reconciliation than of destruction, more grace than wrath...Baruch Hashem!

What spoke to me in the gospel reading for this Sunday was verse 12: And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. Isn't that counter intuitive?  Don't we typically experience the Holy Spirit as the sustainer, the encourager, the wellspring of strength?  How interesting here that she is depicted as an antagonistic force pushing Jesus into the wilderness of temptation.  What do you make of that?

Blessings on your Lenten Journey!

M+

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