On this First Sunday in Lent, we will reflect on the beginning of Jesus' ministry in the world: his baptism by John the Baptist, his blessing as the Beloved of God, his temptation by Satan, and his proclamation of the time of God's reign and the call to repentance. All of this in seven verses! We will reflect on the faithfulness of Jesus to God's call to mission, and our lives as disciples of Jesus and what this means for our lives, especially during these days of Lent.
Our Scripture passage is found in the Gospel according to Mark. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Mark 1:9-15).
For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):
After reading the Scripture lesson for the week, reflect on any images that came to you during your reading: were there any words or phrases that stood out to you or caused you to connect with Jesus' time of temptation or loneliness in the desert?
After reading the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below, reflect on the author's statement that "Jesus is retracing the steps of Israel's history..." - and consider that Jesus is not just remotely present to those near him, but he is walking the steps of human brokenness and redeeming them, step by step.
After reading the "WHERE..." paragraph below, consider the author's statement about living lives as disciples of Jesus, and that journey with Christ is a "matter of surrendering our imperfect conceptions and wrestling for God's meaning afresh every day." How do you both "surrender" and "wrestle" in your daily life?
After reading the "SO WHAT..." paragraph, reflect on "the cost of becoming a disciple of Jesus" and reflect on the difficulties of bearing this cost in our lives. Does this put us at odds with others in our life, especially if they do not want to or value the cost of relationship with God?
After reading the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph, ask yourself, what aspects of Jesus' life and ministry should followers of Jesus strive to emulate? As we fall short of living a life as Jesus lived, what gives us hope and confidence that we are still loved?