Monday of Lent I – Prayer of the Week

O Lord God, You led Your ancient people through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide the people of Your Church that following our Savior we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

As I write these words, we are heading into another election year and it is promising to be a wild ride. Add that to the ongoing war in Ukraine and the violence in the Middle East, and it is looking rather apocalyptic out there. I wish I could tell you that this was an unusual event, but it is not. This world really is a wilderness. It has been like that for a very long time. As a student of history, I can name a number of other years that are probably even worse than this one.

This prayer reminds us of something important. Jesus, by his death and resurrection, by including us in his new kingdom through baptism, has not taken us out of the world. He promises to lead us through the world, but he never promises to take us out of the world or to change the world to make it more comfortable for us. He does not make the nasty, wild world go away, at least not yet. In fact, Jesus invites all his followers to take up a cross, the instrument by which that world crucified and killed Jesus, and to follow him in a life which may well include a fair measure of suffering and death.

As Paul says, if our hope is for this life, we are the most pitiable of all men (I Cor. 15:19). Do we expect that our Christian confession results in a good life here or that the world will see this is a wise and good thing? If we have such an expectation, Lent is here to disabuse us of that false expectation. Being a Christian is not a way to have an easier life. It may be quite the opposite. Our expectation of Christ is that he keeps his promises. The dead he will raise, the believer he will bring to heavenly bliss, and the creation which has been ruined by sin shall be restored. If your world feels a little wild today, lean on him, trust him, and pray. He has risen from the dead so he can help you today. He knows how hard it can be. He has walked this road too.  

Scroll to Top