Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Enter the water and walk the desert

Jesus' baptismIn the Gospel reading for tomorrow Mark tells of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River. This reading falls on this First Sunday of Lent as the Lent is a season of preparation for celebrating Easter and Easter was considered the primary day for baptisms (specifically the night-long Easter vigil service).

After his baptism, Jesus is driven into the wilderness by the spirit. He goes from too much water to too little water very quickly as he moves from being plunged into the Jordan River to being driven into the desert for 40 days. Either too much or too little water can be lethal.

John Kavanaugh of Saint Louis University notes,
Lent invites us to enter the water and to walk the desert—to stare death itself in the face. Lent focuses on the two dominant symbols of our terror and asks us to pass through them to the other side.

God incarnate invites us. Jesus calls us to enter the waters of death with him, so as to rise. He leads us through the desert of godforsakenness to arrive at the land of promise. Lent is about our destiny.

Having not sinned himself, Jesus (Paul reminds us) became our sin and tasted its fruit of death in order to disarm it. As the "promised one," the promise of God, he also transforms the great images of dread to signs of life.

Christ is water that does not drown us but slakes our thirst and cleanses our sin. And he himself walks all the deserts of our lives to be the path through exile and serve as food and drink along the way.


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