Living in the Desert

We’re in the latter stages of the season of Lent, which is a season inviting us to reflect on Jesus’ time of being tempted in the desert by Satan.  His temptation season parallels both the time Israel spent between Egypt and Canaan, and our lives lived between being set free from slavery to sin and entering into the fully realized Kingdom of God.

Jesus’ victory over temptation is the event of the three which informs the other two: we see how Israel was meant to live, in faithful dependence on God, and how we are set free to live because Jesus is Messiah.

I’m thinking about all of this tonight because we are listening to Jeremiah 31:31-34 tomorrow morning (actually, now, this morning) in worship – a passage in which the Lord gives Jeremiah a word of hope to Israel about how they will live in yet another desert phase – the dry phase after exile from the promised land because of their failure to be faithful.  The other side of that desert is the coming of the Messiah, but they were little able to see that at the point Jeremiah comes speaking to them.  As we, too, can often barely begin to imagine what it is like to live free from the brokenness that besets our world.

But one day, that freedom will come.  Even in Lent, we rejoice on Sundays.

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