following Christ into the desert

image by Ivan Kramskoi, 1872, via Wikimedia Commons

Lord, the saints of old who chose to go
into the desert to experience and share
in the suffering and poverty that millions endure
without choice, did so
because You went there first.

And if their apparently useless self-sacrifice
could be united with Yours
and in some way made redemptive,
as they believed Yours to have been,
then their prayer in the desert
did not only change their lives
but might also change the world.

May we see prayer as they did,
not as a technique to be employed and fine-tuned,
but as a life to be embarked upon
in direct imitation of Christ,
sharing the poverty and homelessness
and insecurity which were once Yours.

after Gordon Mursell, 1949-, Bishop in the Church of England


And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan
   and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days,
   being tempted by the devil.
And he ate nothing during those days.
And when they were ended, he was hungry.


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