Sunday 21 February 2021

Go wild this Lent!


The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him. After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’

MARK 1:12-15


Images of Christmas are often filled with animals, not just the winter sighting of a robin red breast but the animals which surrounded Jesus at his birth. There’s no actual mention of animals in the gospels, although the prophecy of Isaiah and the fact that he was laid in a feeding trough for animals, suggest that there certainly were animals nearby. The images can often paint a rather rosy picture of Jesus’ birth – as rosy as the breast of the robin. What’s that got to do with Lent?! Well, here, we see Jesus during those wilderness days spending time with the wild beasts. There is harshness and danger as he embraces the world in all its wildness. He prepares himself for mission, driven as he is by the Spirit like a hand on his back, moving him, pushing him forward, anointing him for Mission, this Messiah, this Christ from heaven from where angels come to minister. There is much about our life that may appear to be rather artificial, and we dismantle our dependency on nature at our peril. There are so many human made things that are human made messes. Plastic in the sea, pollution in the atmosphere, forests razed to the ground, animals chased into extinction, the temperature of the world pushed higher and higher. Perhaps Lent can be a time when not only do we strip our personal lives of some of the unessential things but when we look at what we can do as both individuals and whole communities to strip away all that harms and hurts, to abandon destructive ways of living. So, let’s get wild this Lent, be wild with Lent, and care for Creation of which we are a part, not apart.


God our Father, the way we live can often be destructive to the gifts you have given, Help us to care for all that you have made, and to walk gently upon the earth. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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