Posted: 22 February 2015

BenevoLent: Into the wilderness

Fantastic resources to engage your church in praying, giving and acting for vulnerable young people this Lent are now available.

BenevoLent has ended this year but you can still support our work - find out how today.

 

Over Lent we’re offering weekly suggestions for prayer, action and reflection on the gospel passages. This week we’re reflecting on Mark 1.9-15: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’

This reflection is also available as a pdf to print and share with your congregation. 

Reflection: 'Facing the fear of being in the wilderness'

Jesus was baptised in the river Jordan. As he was coming out of the water the Holy Spirit came down and he was proclaimed to be God’s Son. This was a clear indication of what was to come. From here, Jesus went into the wilderness to face forty days of sacrifice and temptation. 

Mark doesn’t tell us what the temptations were that Jesus faced, yet does tell us he was ‘with the wild beasts’. Jesus faced alarm, perhaps fear, yet he survived. Angels waited on him and emerged from the wilderness knowing the good news he is to proclaim.

When we face the fear of being in the wilderness, a time of nothing, we are reminded that perhaps there are angels willing to wait on us. We can be strengthened in those times to move forward and know what we need to do. 

For some, we may need to consider that we are the angels. And so are called to wait on others, to help them face their fears, to deal with the times of ‘nothingness’ and to encourage them to move towards the good news that ‘the kingdom of God has come near’.

Many of the families we support have no choice about their wilderness. Families live in destitution through the impact of debt. But you can be an angel for them.

Pray

Heavenly God, your Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness where he experienced need and temptation. May the same Spirit drive us out of our places of comfort and wake us up to the needs of those who suffer in destitution through debt and neglect. 

Move us to be compassionate and willing to sacrifice our wants and to be generous in sharing ourselves and our resources, so as to satisfy the needs of others.

Act

Children in families who had energy debts last year were three times more likely to have been ill during winter. Show Some Warmth by asking energy companies to treat families in debt as vulnerable customers

By Mo Baldwin - Church team
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