Given by Rev. Madison Shockley February 21, 2021

In our reading, Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days. There he had visions and heard voices. As we enter the season of Lent, we realize that, due to COVID, 2020 was the longest Lent on record. It feels like we have been in the wilderness forever. Geography can either comfort or challenge us. Time offers opportunities for growth. Yet spiritual journeys are internal. Jesus grew up in Nazareth which was known to be a place of troublemakers. This reminds us of blacks today. Life often has scarring events. It is hard to find a place to stand. Jesus was baptized in the new religion where people, no matter where they were born, were worthy of respect and acceptance. All were children of God. Then Jesus went into the wilderness to purge himself of his scars of his upbringing. He went back to Nazareth to share the good news of God. Another world is possible. The empire of God will have arrived when ALL people find a place to stand.