Where do we stand?

Luke 4:1-13; Deuteronomy 26:1-11


We always open lent with the temptation of Jesus. As we tend to note our sins and realize here how we can't even measure up. So we use this as the example of how we fall short, don't make it, what we lack. Like a checklist of good and bad, we like to be able to measure things. Tell people where they are going wrong, save them, or do we really just begin to think of ourselves as better than. This is not the way we are wandering today though.

At lent we usually take away something, we give it up. What if instead we add something? Think about how we are confronted with our own wilderness, or own time in the desert and somehow in the midst of it we discover God is there with us. It seems kind of strange the pairing of the scriptures this morning, especially this one from Deuteronomy that gives us the way to be thankful. Remember this is given before they enter the land promised, before they have planted these gardens, before their first harvest. It may seem like a dream, this first bounty. Don't forget, don't forget God who led you as a fugitive time and again, from Egypt, from Jacob running to Laban and then away from him, from Assyria and 400 years of living away, from death, from sickness, from... Somehow remember when life gets back to normal remember God. 

Wandering in the desert working through our everyday lives, in times of plenty and in times of lean there is God. Discovering new things about our relationship with God takes an intentionality about what we are doing. If instead of taking away something for lent we instead add something, a practice, a time to be silent, a time to grow, a time to look more deeply, we may find new things waiting for us and a deeper relationship. 

Finding God sometimes looks like the wrestling of Jacob, or it looks like doing some practice with liturgy in the words, or being more aware of the world surrounding you, a good book that opens new possibilities about our relationship to the divine. Intentionally walking through the desert of our souls and finding we are still claimed at the end. This is the practice in Deuteronomy, ending with a feast for the stranger in your midst. Is God the stranger we need to invite to the table? Because if we date to try we just may find the answer we are Christ's forever, never left, never lost, but deeply loved. A child of God who just might show God to another in the sharing.