Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC) Lectionary Reflection Year B, Lent 1, Gospel

Mark 1:9-13: and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. (vs 13)

Reflection on Mark 1:9-13 by Nan Stokes

All of the readings for this beginning Sunday in Lent are involved with water. In the first reading from Genesis, we hear the story of Noah and the establishment of the covenant with God signified by the rainbow. The second reading from 1 Peter talks about baptism as an appeal to God for good conscience, and in the Gospel from Mark, we read again about the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. Bible commentaries have much speculation about the heavens opening up and the Spirit descending like a dove. Was it an event seen just by Jesus -- a visionary experience? We can speculate, too, and believe in spiritual experiences during or after baptisms. But now it is Lent -- a time of trials and temptations so we focus on Jesus going out into the wilderness for forty days. We have different thoughts about wildernesses certainly desert experiences were part of the testing in areas of the world where there was a desert. Mark's gospel doesn't say that the wild beasts were hostile, only that Jesus was with them. And the angels waited on him, just as we can know that angels will be around us whenever our wilderness experience becomes more than we can handle. What a comforting thought for this season of deprivation and wilderness! The "beasts" in our world maybe aren't hostile they just need taming!

Nan Stokes is an active member of St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN. She originally wrote this reflection in 2000. Nan and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Nan Stokes or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC Holy Trinity Church Box 65 Elk River, MN 55330-0065 USA

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