Granbury First UMC Blog Posts

Lent Devotionals: Tuesday, March 7

Uncertainty/Fear—No Way

As I look at the scripture from Mark, it is amazing to imagine heaven splitting open and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. Even more compelling are the words that come from heaven, “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.” Anyone that has a child can understand the depths of those words that God spoke.

Then just as quickly as those words came, so came the immediate departure into the wilderness.  Jesus didn’t begin his ministry with great fanfare.  There wasn’t a big parade.   He began it in the wilderness.  The wilderness involved temptation and living among the wild animals.
If we look at our lives and the world we live in, it appears that we live in the wilderness.  In the wilderness we become our true selves.  Our vulnerabilities show and we acknowledge that our lives are messy.  We, just like Jesus, are tempted to forget the promises made by God.  We are fearful of the unknowns in the world.  We may even feel as if wild animals are about to overtake us.  Uncertainty and fear can dominate our time in the wilderness. 
We only need to read to the end of the passage to be reminded of a promise.  “And the angels took care of him.”  God stands ready and waiting for us to ask him for help during our wilderness experiences.  He waits patiently for us to discard our uncertainties and fears.  He is there with his hand outstretched asking us to humbly and simply trust him.  Jesus trusted him during his wilderness experience.  That trust helped him survive that experience.  Then, Jesus’ ministry emerged. 
How might God be using our wilderness experience to impact our world?  Let’s humbly and simply trust him.  No more uncertainties and fears. 
Karen Cooper
Children’s Ministry Director

Lent Devotionals: Monday, March 6

Mark 1:9-15, CEB

About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River.  While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him.  And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”  At once the Spirit forced Jesus out into the wilderness.  He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.  After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”
There is a divine movement in these six short verses in Mark’s gospel.  Jesus comes to his cousin John to be baptized, numbering himself with his sinful brothers and sisters.  As he is rising from the water, the Father affirms Jesus’ identity; “

You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”  Then, instead of spending time celebrating this sacramental event, Jesus is cast into the wilderness for forty days.

Why Jesus was sent into the wilderness after his baptism but prior to his public ministry?  Was this time a time of preparation for what lies ahead?


Holy and loving God, may we find solace in the baptism of Jesus Christ.  May his loving submission to your will be for us, not only a connection to him, but an example of strength and faithfulness to us all.  May we find his time in the wilderness to be a testament to his solidarity to us, his sisters and his brothers.  In Christ’s holy name we pray.  Amen!