Message from the chaplain: 6 March 2020

Claudia Coustas

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,

‘One does not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

- Matthew 4:1-4 (NRSV)

The term,”wilderness” suggests a dry and arid place. I imagine many of us associate the word with negative emotions such as loneliness or emptiness. When we read that Christ went into the wilderness for the purpose of being tempted by the devil, the situation seems even more dire.

And yet, as I read through Matthew 4:1-11, I understand Jesus to have been fed and sustained, in the wilderness, through his time spent in communion with God the Creator. His time spent in the wilderness was a time of preparation, vital for his ministry.

As we continue in Lent, perhaps the question we need to ask ourselves is, how do we secure this season as one in which there is an absence of that which distracts us and draws us away from communion with God who feeds and sustains us? To do so is vital for us to serve God as we are called to do.

Revd Claudia Coustas

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