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  • Writer's pictureJohn M

Weekly Liturgy : February 12-18

Judean Wilderness
Judean Wilderness
Mark 1:9-15


9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.

11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

13-15 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."



Thoughts from John:

This week begins the season of Lent - the 40 days before Easter in which we imitate Jesus’s experience in the wilderness. Growing up, I only ever understood Lent as the period of the year when my Catholic friends gave up chocolate, or TV, or beer in order to demonstrate devotion to God. (I always wondered: Why would a good God want me to give up something as gloriously delicious as chocolate? Sounds like God is in cahoots with my dentist. But I digress…)

Rarely, if ever, is Lent advertised as the period of time in which we make space for God to show up in care and compassion for us. But “the wilderness” is the same place Jesus escapes to when he’s overwhelmed by the crowds or wants to retreat with his disciples, or needs to prepare for a big moment. “The wilderness,” might be better translated as “a lonely place.” Yet, over and over again in the gospels, it’s the very context in which Jesus discovers he’s not alone.

This Lent, may the Spirit of God attend to us. May we each find ourselves beheld by the Eternal One at precisely the times we overcome with fear and trepidation. And may we emerge more fully aware of our identity as God’s beloved.



Outward Mindset Application

Help 1 person feel appreciated each day this week.

Pathways toward Centeredness

Enthusiasm (Loving God through celebration and praise):

What is good in your world this week? Share the goodness you’re experiencing with your community on social media!

Questions for Reflection

What things, people, or places are you looking for an escape from?

What things, people, or places are you looking to escape into?


“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.

Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.

Copyright (C) 2023 Church at the Park. All rights reserved.


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