Mark 1: 12-15
I Sunday of Lent
If you are looking for an unusual Lenten read, try the Christian classic, The Screw Tape Letters, by C.S. Lewis. The book is a selection of letters from a devil called Screw tape to his nephew Wormwood. He is giving advice on how to ensnare the human heart. The insights that C.S. Lewis has into the human soul is uncanny. It reveals our capacity for human selfishness and sin.
When we stop to think of Satan and sin, and it’s not often that we do think about those subjects, we think of it in dramatic terms like today’s Gospel. We think of the big temptations of sex, power, and money. We see Satan fighting God on a cosmic scale, but it’s in the conversations and chit-chat of the day that the power of sin is revealed.
The work of hell is accomplished in the little things: the grudge we just don’t want to give up; the self-righteous tone that we inflict on those who have a different point of view; the one we refuse to forgive. It is in all these things that our blindness can be made manifest.
I don’t know about you, but I need Lent. I need to hold the mirror of the season against the thoughts of my heart and the actions of my day. I need to remember that I am very vulnerable; I can be more honest and prayerful with God.
Lord, this Lent, turn our stony hearts and ways to living bread. Help us in all our doubts with your guidance. Help us in all temptations with your strength, and in all our dangers, with your protection and consolation.
Have a blessed Lenten season,