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Lent: Wilderness

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Wilderness Wonderings

Pastor Marty Wyatt

Our Lenten series this year is “Wilderness.” Each week we will explore a different theme related to the wilderness and what we experience there: the wilderness is somewhere we’ve been before, the wilderness is a place of new beginnings, the wilderness is a place of isolation and also a place of connection. There are many more. As we explore the wilderness together, I invite you to be open to the possibilities. In scripture, there are so many miraculous things that happen in the wilderness- God meets Moses in a bush that burns but isn’t consumed, the Isrealites are sustained with bread from heaven as they journey to the promised land, Jesus goes to the wilderness to pray and rest. 

The wilderness can be a place of both fear and great growth- both fear and great calm can live together in the wilderness. But the most important thing to remember is that God with us through each feeling, every step of the way, through every wilderness journey we go on, God goes with us. Whatever wilderness you journey through this in Lenten season, know that you do not journey alone. We journey together as a community, grounded in the love of Christ, always striving to love God and love our neighbor together, and be a community united by God’s grace.

My prayer for you in this season is that you are able to use this time to connect with God. Connect with community. Connect with yourself. Reflect, steal a few minutes for yourself, breathe. Take in the complexities of the wilderness you find yourself in, and then let yourself be wowed by God’s presence with you in that wilderness moment as you remember God’s promise to never leave nor forsake us. Come to worship. Connect with those around you. Engage with someone new. Say hi to someone you don’t know. And remember God is with us, Christ is with us, even through and past death-this is what we look forward to as an Easter people. We cannot skip Lent, or Holy Week to get there, we must go through the wilderness first, but the promise of Easter is what we cling to in the midst of the wilderness, in the midst of the unknown, we cling to the hope that we have in Christ that the unknown does not have the final say, but instead we know that God does.




Pastor Tori Kraus

In scripture, the wilderness is a place that is often scary and unknown. There is no certainty in the wilderness. Wilderness is often a place of learning and a place of growing. The Israelites wandered throughout the wilderness, and learned to trust God in it. Jesus spent forty days and forty nights in the wilderness, and was shaped and formed for ministry. It also shows that the wilderness is a place and a time where you have to surrender to the Spirit and surrender to where she is leading you. 

In wilderness times, I remember the story from Exodus 13:21-22, where the Israelites only have a pillar of fire by day, and pillar of smoke by night. They cannot see ahead, only what is front of them. Sometimes I wonder if we too get caught up in what is ahead. The lists that need to be made, the things that need to be done. In all of the planning and focusing on what is to come, we often forget that the Spirit is right with us - guiding us, one pillar at a time.

We rarely enter into the wilderness willingly, most of the time we are thrust into it. These next few months will be a time of wilderness for Roseville Lutheran. However, the wilderness can be a sacred time even if it seems scary and unknown. In the wilderness, we remember who we are and whose we are. Even in the wilderness, God still provides us with what we need. 

In this season, continue to look for signs of God’s grace and love. Find your own pillars that will guide you throughout your own wilderness times. We may go through it having our faith challenged, nurtured, and eventually resurrected. Yet, there is no space too terrifying or harsh for God’s love and guidance.

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