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Where is your wilderness?

February 22, 2015

What did the wilderness that the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into look like? The wilderness probably looked like the problems we see today. It was filled with broken people. The wilderness was full of broken people that robbed, killed and maimed those that traveled alone. Yes, Jesus faced these issues in his day also. We know that Satan was and is roaming in creation using the broken people of our world to distract us from God’s purpose for each one of us. How often have you considered God’s purpose for us? I, personally, do this daily. However, I do this alone as Jesus did. I am also in a group where we discuss with others on how to live into my vocation. When I tried, at on point in my life, to do this on my own, I failed miserably. Even though, I tried to share the light of Christ, my own brokenness got in the way. I know one thing for sure, that being in dialogue with this group helps me work through my brokenness. Those that I am in dialogue with are growing closer to one another and to God. We hold each other accountable for not giving into the dark places of our lives and growth in our discipleship.
During this season of Lent, we are encouraged to reflect on our short-comings. We are attempting to be completely honest with one another… almost brutally honest. Does anyone else here have this kind of community in which to talk to? If you do not have a group like this, I highly encourage each and everyone to Please find one. But when you do Please consider the following:
1. Leave one’s ego at the door…
2. Agree to disagree, and do it respectfully…
3. Do not where your feelings on your sleeve…
4. When the debates get heated, and they will, do not hold onto old hurts and pains…
5. Leave the private things talked about between those at the gathering…
This kind of spiritual community can truly show us that we need a community outside those that we have at work, or beyond our friends, or even our church community. This kind of spiritual community will also painfully remind us that we may model our lives after Jesus, but no one has made it to the place of scantificaltion that we all desire to achieve. Jesus was and is able to be so much larger than our brokenness. Jesus can resist the temptations that Satan set before him and continue to set before us. We are not Jesus. We are disciples of Jesus. Ever growing, living, and conferencing with each other along our journeys. Yes, Jesus sends to each of us the Holy Spirit to guide us and to help us discern the correct path. Lent is a time for us to reflect on choosing to walk the path that Jesus walked before us. We are called to into this path by our Baptism and that path leads to Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection.
I, sometimes…a lot of the time… get caught up in my brokenness which causes me to over look the gift of the discerning Holy Spirit. God gifts us with those we conference with to be the tangible voice when we ignore everything else.
Has anyone considered that for some coming to a new church can be his or her wilderness? Going to a new place can be just that…a wilderness. It can be wrought with dangers that we would not expect. Even something as simple as, “Where do I sit?” This can be a major problem for some folks. When we have a visitor that no one knows; how do we greet them? How do we help them feel welcome? Do we introduce them to others? We, in our brokenness, may not see his or her discomfort. We need to remember our discipleship and meet people where they are in their wilderness. We need to remember that being in the wilderness, people are longing for community… people are longing for a place where they can be themselves…people are longing for dialogue… people are longing for acceptance.
How can we reach out to people struggling in their wilderness? We can do this only one person at a time. We have to invite those we meet to journey with us. That is not to say that the wilderness does not have challenges… but we have companions along the way. Companions strengthening our discipleship… Companions that help us discern where the Holy Spirit is leading us.
As disciples of the Resurrected Jesus, we are called to invite others to join us in the path that may lead to death, but leads to life everlasting, so that we can help each other along the way. If we do this, our discipleship is not in vain. It is for the glory of God. It is for the Kingdom of God… and at that last day, God sitting on the Throne of Grace will be pleased to say to each of us, “You are my child, my beloved with whom I am well pleased.”
May each of our journeys in the wilderness of life show the discipleship we claim. Let us invite others to be companions along the way. We do not know what tomorrow will bring, and we do not know if others will join us on the journey. However, we know that if we listen to the Holy Spirit along the way our foot shall not falter, and we thank God for that.

Let us pray.
Almighty God lead, guide and direct our paths by your Holy Spirit in the wilderness. May you give us companions that will help us see your path for us. We ask this in your name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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From → jimmyahornjr

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