On Ash Wednesday we began the forty days of Lent. The number forty is not an insignificant or random choice. It reflects the forty years Israel wandered in the wilderness, and the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted. These forty days called Lent are like no other. It is our opportune time to return to the God who rescues, to receive the gifts of God’s grace, to believe with the heart and confess with the mouth the wonder of God’s love in Jesus, and to resist temptation at every turn. This is no small pilgrimage on which we have just embarked. It is a struggle Jesus knew. It is a struggle Jesus shares. In bread and wine, water and word, Jesus is with us and will uphold and sustain us especially in times when we ourselves are in the wilderness.
Image: Negev Desert, Israel. Copyright © iStock/GP232. Used by permission.