March’s Newsletter

Dear Friends,

The season of Lent occurs primarily in March this year. Lent is a forty day period leading up to Easter. It is patterned after Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness, that can be found in Matthew 4, Luke 4, and Mark 1. Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness to replicate the wanderings of the nation of Israel as they were attempting to make their way to the promised land. The wanderings of Israel was to purify them in order for them to take possession of the land and to be a light to the nations around them.

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Jesus was redeeming Israel with His time in the wilderness, as well as preparing Himself to face the challenges and temptations of the ministry that He was beginning. The temptations that Jesus would endure, as presented by Satan, were ones that Jesus would face on a daily basis. The first temptation (as found in Matthew) involved using His power for selfish reasons (turn these stones into bread). The second temptation focused on whether Jesus would test the faithfulness and goodness of God (throw Yourself off the temple). The third temptation revolved around who Jesus would worship, and who Jesus would receive His power from—God or Satan.

In our Lenten journey, we walk with Jesus and the Israelites. We are seeking to purify ourselves so that we can be a light, like the Israelites were scheduled to be. We are to face the tempter as he seeks to hurt us and derail us with all of our fears and weaknesses. The tempter does not necessarily come at our strongest point, but attacks our weakest point. As we walk our Lenten walk, realize that Jesus has done this before, so He understands. In addition to this, please know and understand that Jesus is now the Lord above all lords and the King above all kings. Jesus has the power to help us resist the tempter.

Each year, I suggest that we give something up because Jesus gave up something for His forty days. Also, we suggest the addition of Scripture reading because we know that Jesus was able to withstand the attacks on His Spirit with the Word of God. This is why we suggest that you read and know the Scripture.

As we walk this Lenten journey, we can celebrate a God who loves us and also a God who saves us. We are saved to live in community with each other. At St. Andrew, we show this by how we live together—grounded in grace, living in love, and growing for God.

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Mark