Lent: Jesus’ Deepening Awareness over 40 Days Luke 4:1-13
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.” ’Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” ’ Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’ When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
This year’s 40-day season will follow Jesus’ inner struggle of discernment and deepening awareness through his time in the wilderness. Our Lenten season will be an exploration into the diverse range of emotions we feel through the many points in our life (and sometimes even day). Building on psychologist Brenee Brown’s recent research released in Atlas of the Heart 2021, we will take a deeper look inside the emotions that live in the depths of our souls.
Her work notes how, of the thousands of people interviewed over her 15 years of work, the average awareness for one’s emotional state is 3: (they were: angry, sad and happy). While many other emotions are present, we generally aren’t aware / have ready access to them. Dr. Brown’s notes how these limits of our language cause us to limit our interaction with and understanding of self and world. In considering the various shades of emotion that we feel beyond our initial emotional vocabulary, we have the enlightening opportunity to gain a deeper sense of awareness of self and how we relate to others. Thus, the hopefulness for the journey of Lent this year comes as we broaden our range of emotions and thereby broadening our understanding of self and world.
Here are some links to Dr. Brown's work that you might consider reading / viewing to deepen your Lenten experience:
During Lent in 2022, we will be considering Jesus’ wilderness experience as his time spent alone to more deeply discover who he is, and who he is called to be. As we move through Lent, we will consider this parallel in our own lives. Each week we will focus on a specific area of emotion. It will be rooted in biblical scripture and we will next invite people to search their hearts for where these respective emotions have shown up / are showing up.
Jesus’ deeper realization into who he was, following his wilderness experience, allowed him to engage into the ministry that he was called to offer. It is the hope of our 2022 Lenten series that a deeper awareness, and acceptance, of the array of emotions that rest in our hearts will further allow us to gain an ever-deeper awareness of who we are and who we are called to be as well.
Lent One March 6 Awe, Wonder, Joy, Calm Psalm
46 VU 770 “be still and know that I am God”
Luke 5: 17-26 Jesus heals the paralytic
Lent Two March 13 Stress, Overwhelm, Anxiety, Worry
Psalm 34 – VU 761 “the righteous cry out, the Lord hears them”
Luke 12:22-32 “Do not worry…”
Lent Three March 20 Grief, Sadness, despair, hopeless
Psalm 38 VU 758 (part 2) “my eyes are wasted with grief”
Romans 12:9-18 “weep with those who weep”
Lent Four March 27 admiration, envy, disappointment, regret
1 Peter 2:1-11 “rid yourselves of…envy…like spiritual milk”
Lent Five April 3 shame, self-compassion, perfection
Psalm 51 VU 776 “Have mercy on me, O God, in your great kindness”
Romans 7: 14-21 “who will rescue me…Jesus Christ”
Lent 6 / Palm Sunday April 10 pride vs. humility
Luke 9:46-48 “Jesus places a little child in their midst”
Luke 19:28-44 Jesus’ palm entry into Jerusalem