by Fletcher Lowe
“Jesus is in the legislature. If he were not there I would not be either.”
Rep. Byron Rushing, Member of the Massachusetts State Legislature
Lent is a season of penitence. In keeping with that we Episcopalians in the Liturgy put the Penitential Order front and center. We talk a lot about sin and forgiveness and reconciliation and redemption—all significant Christian themes.
That being said, let’s take a second look and go back to the reason that Jesus went into the wilderness. It was not for repentance; it was for vocation. As I read the accounts, it was to figure out what his mission and ministry were to be. Now the devil helped him in that by offering him at least three other options—each of which he refused. Out of the 40 days he emerged with his mission/ministry: to proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand. His teachings and healings and other miracles gave credence to that.
For me that provides an alternative focus for Lent: to critique how I am doing in understanding my calling as a follower of Christ in my daily life and work. Relevant questions might be:
- In whatever I do, what is the faith connection?
- In my everyday life, how is God calling me to “proclaim by word and example…, to seek and serve…, to strive….,” as we affirm in the Baptismal Covenant.
Each of us, by the very nature of our Baptism, has been sent “into the world to love and serve the Lord.” That world is wherever and with whomever we “live and move and have our being”: in our work and home and community and school.
Christ, in his 40 days in the wilderness, gives us a model: to take some time focusing on what we do beyond Sunday. Thanks be to God who gives us the opportunity, in our own way, to be “Christ” with those whom we meet in everyday life.