You may be asking yourself: where in the world have we been?
Well, for a little over a year life and ministry have forced us to take a hiatus from posting. For Kathleen it has been primarily her work with the wonderful ministry Advocates For Community Transformation, and for both of us it has been launching the C S Lewis Institute – Dallas that have taken our time and energy. We are thrilled that we have come to the place where, even as we continue these other endeavors, we can resume this ministry of meditations on Holy Scripture. We continue to hope they will help us all to find our lives transformed as we take up and read (tolle et lege) God’s written Word.
Throughout the ages, the forty days of Lent have been a season of focused and intentional devotion. Often those devotions have been centered on Jesus’ own forty day sojourn in the wilderness just after his baptism and before his ministry. Would you join us this year as we offer five meditations, one each Monday in Lent, taken from Luke’s account of the baptism, temptation, and beginning ministry of Jesus (Luke 3:21-23,36b-38, 4:1-21)? I am confident that, if you do, you will gain real insight into you own life, your own ministry, and your own challenges to live out your calling. As Kathleen has written:
“The same Spirit that declared his Sonship at baptism and then drove him into the wilderness for testing is the same Spirit that drove him to Galilee and anointed him for this ministry of healing, liberation, and redemption. And it is the same Spirit that we, ourselves, receive at Baptism when, in Christ, we too are made into sons and daughters of God.”
Here is the wonderful passage on which we will meditate over the next several weeks:
Luke 3:21-23, 36b-38, 4:1-21(RSV)
21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”
23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli…. the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methu′selah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Maha′lale-el, the son of Ca-i′nan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
4 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit 2 for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5 And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”
9 And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; 10 for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you,’11 and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read; 17 and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were