For some reason, this week’s readings turn me inward and towards quiet acts of generosity.
Perhaps it is a reaction to the very outward preaching of the past few weeks of this season. Luke is an intense gospel to preach, constantly calling us to the highways and biways, under bridges, encountering strangers and constantly on the edges of our comfort zones.
The setting of Jesus in solitude in the desert feels like a bit of a relief. The struggle with the devil lives on in our daily lives. Perhaps a few days in the desert to really wrestle those temptations down is exactly what we need.
The Romans reading gives equal honour to “(the) one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.” Lent is so often a season of outward signs of giving up and giving away. How do we honour the faith of our hearts as well as our actions and words?
Deuteronomy is usually my go-to for stewardship. In all those laws is the underlying truth that all belongs to God. Whatever we give up or give away was never ours. It is a common discipline to take the money that is saved on whatever we give up for Lent and give it to the church. Are there private, open acts of worship we could give to God as well?
I confess I am writing this a week early and am still in the Epiphany warmth. Does your Lenten preaching follow a theme this year? Where are you called to dwell this dark season?