Through the Wilderness

"Wilderness was the wild place, the waiting place, the place of preparation. It also connected then, as it does now, to very basic spirituality: a place to grapple with God, a place to learn dependence on nature and its provisions, a place of extremes or contrasts, of wild beasts and desert. It is the Lenten space par excellence."

William Loader, First Thoughts on Year C Gospel Passages in the Lectionary

Lent 1: "Facing Our Demons

Psalm 91:9-16 (NIV) / Luke 4:1-13 (Peterson's The Message) - Jesus in his journey was locked in combat for 40 days as Satan tried to tempt him. To go forward in our spiritual journey, we must recognize and confront our own demons. 

Lent 2: “Discovering Our True Identity” 

Psalm 27 (NIV) / Philippians 3:17-4:1  (Peterson's The Message) - A large part of our spiritual journey involves discovering who we really are in a world dominated by lies. Though the lies are loud and relentless, we must never give up our commitment to do what is right and true; we must never forget who we are.  (For more information about our identity as children of God, read the Presbyterian first catechism, "Belonging to God." We also invite you to join us as we prayerfully examine the core values of Oxford Second Church. )

Lent 3: “Learning from the Past” 

Psalm 63:1-8 (NIV) / 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 (Peterson's The Message) - Much of the Bible is about people who lost their way. We’re called to something better. And if we’re willing, we can learn from the mistakes of those who went before us. 

Lent 4: “Making Things Right” 

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (NIV) / Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 (Peterson's The Message) - One of the greatest joys in life is to see things that have gone wrong set right. God never gives up on us, and we shouldn’t give up either. 

Lent 5: “Pushing Forward” 

Psalm 126 (NIV) / Philippians 3:4b-15 (Peterson's The Message) - While God never changes, He is always doing a “new thing,” and always pushing us forward out of our comfort zone. We may not like change, but if it’s God we’re following, we have nothing to fear. (We might even like it.) 

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