So daily dying to the way of self, so daily living to your way of love, we walk the road, Lord Jesus, that you trod, knowing ourselves baptized into your death:so we are dead and live with you in God. Hymn 149 vv. 2
This week we begin again our Lenten journey. For many years I dreaded this season - the giving up or taking on - thinking that these “things” would “make” my journey through the season better and assist me in my faith pathway. I placed my focus on what I was or wasn’t doing.
As I grew and listened and listened some more, my attention turned away from focusing on what I was giving up or even taking on. I heard these words first in a sermon - but I’m sure this person wasn’t the first to say these words - ‘remember who you are and more importantly whose you are.’ While I know that I didn’t immediately change everything about my response to the season; it did begin to alter my focus. And as the years have gone by I really look forward to this season that helps me to re-focus my life and my journey. It isn’t a one-time centering, but a constant turning and turning and turning again.
In the passage from Mark’s gospel this Sunday, we hear three stories in one. Mark is so expedient and unlike the other gospel writers. Why focus on one event when you can pack three in seven short verses - baptism, the wilderness and temptation, and stepping out into ministry.
So the question for all of us this Lent is - how might we become better disciples and make more disciples this Lent?