Has Come Near

Has Come Near

On this First Sunday in Lent, our Scriptures are: Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Peter 3:18-22; and Mark 1:9-15.

In his sermon based upon the Gospel text, Pastor Wayne delves into the significance of Jesus’ wilderness experience, particularly focusing on Mark’s concise account compared to the more detailed versions in Matthew and Luke. It reflects on the symbolic elements of the wilderness—temptation, wild animals, and angels—as well as the broader themes of uncertainty, doubt, and reliance on the Spirit.

Pastor Wayne emphasizes Mark’s portrayal of the wilderness experience as a journey of uncertainty and struggle, where Jesus is both driven by the Spirit and comforted by its presence. This reflects the human experience of facing challenges and making difficult choices, unsure of the right path forward.

The sermon draws parallels between Jesus’ experience and our own lives, highlighting moments of blessing amidst adversity and the need to trust in the Spirit’s guidance even when it leads us into unfamiliar territory. It explores the tension between light and dark, suffering and love, and the constant choice we face in navigating these opposing forces.

Additionally, the metaphor of the wild beasts represents the various challenges and temptations we encounter in life. Pastor Wayne suggests that these “wild beasts” can be both dangers to overcome and sources of comfort or companionship, highlighting the complexity of our experiences.

Ultimately, the sermon invites reflection on the presence of the Kingdom of God amid life’s wilderness moments, challenging listeners to embrace the depths of love and presence even in times of struggle and uncertainty. It encourages a Lenten journey of introspection and spiritual growth, recognizing that it is precisely in our most difficult moments that we may find the Kingdom nearest to us.