FreerangeFriday: The Invitation of Lent

by Lilly Lewin
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by Lilly Lewin

The Season of Lent is the season of the Church Year that allows us to reflect on the Wilderness experience of Jesus following his baptism. The 40 days Jesus spent before his ministry began. It also gives us the opportunity to prepare our hearts for the crucifixion and for resurrection.

What’s the Invitation? What is the Holy Spirit inviting me to this Lent? What is Jesus inviting each of us to this Lenten Season?

At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”
At once, this same Spirit pushed Jesus out into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by Satan. Wild animals were his companions, and angels took care of him.
After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.” MARK 1:9-15 The Message


At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[a] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” MARK 1:9-15 NIV

Mark is the short and intense Gospel…we don’t get all the details of the temptations like we do in Matthew and Luke. You can also read Matthew 4 and   Luke 4:1-13

What do you notice from this passage? What are the invitations you see or feel for your Lenten practice this year?

I notice that Jesus has been told he is BELOVED. He has his identity secured in his baptism. He is greatly loved and not alone. How can I receive that invitation this Lent? What do I need to do to accept and live into my Belovedness?

I need to go back to my practice of being wrapped in God’s love. I have a special blanket that I use to represent God’s love for me. I need to use it DAILY to wrap it around me and truly experience the love of God.

What things remind you that you are God’s Beloved?

I notice that Lent starts in the Wilderness.

This year, I am really noticing the wilderness …In both the harsh reality of wilderness and the need I have for the beauty of nature in wilderness.

The wilderness of the world! I am feeling the uncertainty of life….I have a lot of anxiety about where our country is heading and I feel the weight of all the suffering due to hatred and violence and war. …it’s a bleak unsafe wilderness. I need to acknowledge this reality and allow Jesus to hold it for me!  I remember that I am not alone in the wilderness!

How about you? How is your life feeling?
How do you view wilderness? How are you viewing wilderness right now?

One thing about being in the wilderness…it invites us to pay attention. To notice. You don’t survive very long in extreme wilderness situations or even on a simple hike in the forest if you aren’t paying attention…Paying attention to the path, to the weather, to dangers that might be ahead.
And we get an invitation to be prepared for the wilderness. Did I wear the right shoes? Did I bring water and snacks, do I have the right outerwear in case the weather changes?

How are we being invited to pay attention this Lent? What do I need to pay more attention to in the days ahead?

I feel the Lord’s invitation to get outside and get to places of beauty. To walk and breathe and notice. It’s often so easy to just sit and scroll on my phone. Or to just get caught up in the list of things to do around the house that I don’t stop and breathe. I don’t get outside.

What if you invite someone to join you for walks in Lent. It could be as simple as a walk around your neighborhood. It could be a walk in a nearby park. Or plan a special walk or hike in a place a bit farther away that you and your family go on to reflect on Jesus and the beauty around you.

Jesus wasn’t alone in the wilderness! This gives me hope!
Yes he was tempted by the devil, but THE SPIRIT was with him. And the angels were caring for him and the wild animals were there too.

Who and what has Jesus put in our wilderness to care and comfort us?
I need to notice the people and animals and even the angels and thank God for these!

An Invitation to Be present, to Notice, to get outside in the actual wilderness. An invitation to know that I am greatly loved by God and I am not alone! I will ponder these invitations in the days ahead and put them into practice too.

What is the invitation of the wilderness for you?

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God of the Wilderness, we receive the Invitation to join you on the journey this Lent. Open our hearts to fall more in love with you over these coming days. Help us to see the beauty around us in the wilderness. Help us to seek you and know that you are with us even in the harshness of our world. Thank you Jesus that we are not alone and we are greatly loved. AMEN

Check out 40 Days Toward Love... a Prayer Kit for Lent that uses prayer hearts to pray with each day.  A personal/family version can be downloaded or there is one for churches too. This can be used any time, not just for Lent.

©lillylewin and

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