Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018 By Craig Stimpert
Mark 1:35 — And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Traditionally the observance of Lent is a time of preparation allowing people to focus on Jesus more intentionally, his journey to the Cross, his suffering and his victory through his resurrection.
Mark 1: 35 reveals to us the habits of Jesus that are not only applicable for us during the Lenten season, but throughout our life with Christ.
This passage shows us that Jesus made time with his heavenly father a priority. He got out of bed early because he wanted to spend time with him. We see Jesus’ need for solitude, undistracted one-on-one time with God. Jesus got up while it was still dark, he departed, escaping the pressures of familiar territory and retreated to a desolate place. And there he prayed.
How easy it is for us to dismiss these habits of Jesus as being out of touch with our lives. But, verses 36 and 37 of Mark chapter 1 show us a side of all this that we often miss: Everybody is looking for Jesus, but they can’t find him because he’s in his desolate place.
Everyone is looking for us too. The question is where will they find us? Our hope with these Lenten devotionals is that people will find us, like Jesus, alone with our heavenly father in our desolate place.
Now through Easter, Charis will be posting a Lenten devotional each day, excluding Saturday and Sunday, leading us up to Easter Sunday. These devotions are written by Charis members who are also distracted by people looking for them. All of us, like Jesus, have pressing demands for our time. But, the Devotionals you will read through Lent are a reflection of those break through moments when God speaks to us through his spoken word.
We hope they are encouragement and a motivation pointing you to Jesus in your desolate place. For you, that’s holy ground.
Feel free to comment on the Devotions on our Charis blog. Your insights will be an encouragement to the writers and help stimulate discussion among your Charis family.