March 13

Read: Luke 4:1-13

After his baptism, Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit … was led by the Spirit into the wilderness …

When I was a child, my mother walked me to school from the very beginning. We were a one car family and Dad took it to work, so Mom and I walked hand in hand the fifteen or so blocks from home to school. When we arrived at my Kindergarten class for the first time, she stepped in, handed me off to a woman I had never met before, and told me she’d be back when class was over. I remember nothing of what I thought or how I felt. I am sure I was dazzled and confused by the new experience – being in a foreign place with a gaggle of barbarians in miniature. What could I do?

I watched; I listened; I followed directions. When I went off in my own direction, Miss Smith did not challenge me, chastise me, or correct me. She let me be. She let me explore. When I was ready, I would wander back into the “fold” and participate in whatever we found ourselves doing as a class. I don’t think I was ever afraid, sad, or lonely; I was part of a larger whole (as best a five-year-old can know what that means).

I wonder if it is wise to focus on the temptations of Jesus as if that was the main part of the story. Jesus was tempted. Aren’t we all? No, what I find myself seeing in this story is Momma Spirit walking alongside ol’ JC, helping him to make his way through to the other side.

God, help me learn to feel your hand in mine wherever I go, whatever I face. I know we do it together. Amen.

-Keith Axberg