Put yourself in the picture

by the Rev. Dr. Jon Shematek

The first Sunday in Lent finds Jesus in the wilderness, where we hear the familiar dialogue between Jesus and the devil, and all those temptations. Then that’s the end of it, right? Most of us are ready to move on. Quickly. We are not interested in spending more time than necessary in this inhospitable place; much less think about the series of events of Holy Week leading dramatically to Jesus’ walk on the Way of the Cross. We want to fast-forward to Easter.

Instead, we can view the wilderness as preparatory, not as something we need to rush through, not as something to avoid. Is it improbable that, for Jesus, the wilderness continued even after the devil left him until “an opportune time?”  Is it difficult to picture that Jesus was still experiencing wilderness, that he was in many ways alone, even while in the midst of many persons, including his disciples, who often missed the point and at the end abandoned him?

What about you? Consider putting yourself in the picture. Literally putting yourself in pictures that represent some of the most dramatic, challenging, pivotal moments in Jesus’ last days on earth.  Let’s spend some time together with scriptures and compelling artistic visual representations of Jesus’ last week on earth during three Sunday’s (Feb. 28, Mar. 6 & 13 @ 9:15) in Lent as we explore these events. And who knows, you might find a place for yourself in the picture.

The Rev. Dr. Jon Shematek is Deacon of the Cathedral.

Cathedral of the Incarnation