Lent 3 | Water is Life

Directed by God, the whole company of Israel moved on by stages from the Wilderness of Sin. They set camp at Rephidim. And there wasn’t a drop of water for the people to drink. The people took Moses to task: “Give us water to drink.” But Moses said, “Why pester me? Why are you testing God?” But the people were thirsty for water there. They complained to Moses, “Why did you take us from Egypt and … [Read more...]

Lent 2 | The Call to Journey

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went, as the … [Read more...]

Lent 1 | Temptation

Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.” Jesus answered by quoting … [Read more...]

Ash Wednesday | Locusts and Lent

Blow the ram’s horn trumpet in Zion! Trumpet the alarm on my holy mountain! Shake the country up! God’s Judgment on its way—the Day’s almost here! A black day! A Doomsday! Clouds with no silver lining! Like dawn light moving over the mountains, a huge army is coming. There’s never been anything like it and never will be again. Wildfire burns everything before this army and fire licks up everything … [Read more...]

A Way in the Desert by Shannan Vance-Ocampo

Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in … [Read more...]

A Hiding Place by Shannan Vance-Ocampo

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my … [Read more...]

Expansive Imaginations by Shannan Vance-Ocampo

“Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat!  Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money—everything’s free!  Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my … [Read more...]

Temptations by Shannan Vance-Ocampo

Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry. The Devil, playing on his hunger, gave the first test: “Since you’re God’s Son, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: … [Read more...]

Lenten Challenges by Shannan Vance-Ocampo

As we begin our Lenten practice today with Ash Wednesday, I invite you to take a moment and to go deep into God’s Word as it comes to us from the Prophet Isaiah 58:1-12.  I opened up the Bible this morning and the depth of the Call within this passage resounded powerfully: Shout! A full-throated shout! Hold nothing back—a trumpet-blast shout! Tell my people what’s wrong with their lives, face my … [Read more...]