Preparing for traps
For 18 February 2024
Ash Wednesday was this week.
A long tradition of the church has been to recognise this as the start of Lent. The 40 day preparation for Easter when we remember the sacrifice Jesus gave for each of us, and the glorious resurrection when he defeated death and rose again. It’s often a time when we begin by remembering the 40 days Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness straight after his baptism. He heard the words from heaven “You are my son, with whom I am well pleased” and the Holy Spirit descended on him like a dove. A holy anointing. Then instead of seizing the advantage and collecting disciples and starting a movement right there and then in front of the gathered crowds. He retreats to be alone with God and tempted by the devil. I think it was that solitude that prepared him well for the final week in Jerusalem. The time we as a church are looking at in February and March. The crowds love him, the leaders try to trap him, the guards arrest him and his closest friends desert him. By the end of the week it’s back to the wilderness but this time its prayers in a garden. I wonder if the lessons he learnt in that 40 days of solitude and the echoes of God voice “You are my Son with whom I am well pleased” alongside the anointing of the Holy Spirit carried him through the pain and loneliness he was enduring both physical, emotional and spiritual?
Over the next 2 weeks on Sunday we look at Jesus teaching in the temple while leaders were trying use his words to trap him and have him put to death. He has this remarkable gift of turning a trap into a very wise teaching moment for everyone, even people living in Adelaide nearly 2000 years later.
This lent period is a wonderful time of spiritual focus. At Wednesday prayer group this week, we prayed that over Lent “we will be learning the word of God and the love of others. To be very close to you, God. To understand clearly your Word and your powerful messages. To help us to be more like you Lord.” To that I say Amen!
Your brother in Christ,
The link above will take you to our YouTube playlist. Select the first entry in the playlist to watch this week’s service (from Sunday 10am or anytime later in the week.)
If you have enjoyed the worship music that our congregation has created for our Breakthru Worship videos, you can listen or download them from our
Breakthru Music playlist.
Ministry Team Contacts
Rev Dr Benji Callen – firstname.lastname@example.org; Day off : Monday
Minister in Association
Rev Rob Williams – email@example.com; Day off : Friday
Nancy Xu – firstname.lastname@example.org; Wednesdays
Stuart MacAdam – 8331 3914; email@example.com