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  • Pastor Linda Settles

Wilderness 101

2/19/21


Okay, tell me if this has ever happened to you – someone comes up to you and says, “close your eyes and come this way.” First of all, if I’m closing my eyes how will I know which way is this way! Anyway, they take your hand and lead you to something and say, “open your eyes.” Usually, it’s a surprise of some sort – birthday, anniversary, or some special occasion. And we’re surprised and full of joy.

When you think about it, there’s only one way that you would close your eyes and let that person lead you somewhere. You have to trust the one who’s leading you!

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness

to be tempted by the devil.

Matthew 4:1

I was okay with the first part – I love the thought of being led by the Holy Spirit. But wait! Led into the wilderness? To be tempted by the devil? This doesn’t sound like a walk in the park, Jesus!

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we did not expect. The loss of a job, the death of a loved one, a child who walks away. And we are in a wilderness. There isn’t a road map in the wilderness. No gps or satellite to guide you through. It’s just you. And the Spirit. And the devil.

Jesus took this journey into the wilderness, led by the Spirit. And He shows us how we can not only survive but thrive in our wilderness experiences. Could it be that suffering puts us on the path to wholeness?

Worship with us online this Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent, at 10:00am, at www.umcgt.org. We will talk about the tools we have to make it through the wilderness, and why we don’t have to fear it. This sermon will be the first in the Lenten series: Words in the Wilderness.

This Sunday we will also have indoor worship, limited to 25 people. The chairs in the sanctuary are already socially distanced, and proper COVID-19 protocols have been put in place per CDC guidelines (sanitizing, air filtration, etc.). As of this writing there were still 4 seats available. Registration is on the website or you can use this link: https://rsvp.church/r/gVufUAP4_ And don’t forget to bring your mask!

Lenten Challenge: Take 13!

We’re off to a good start, hopefully! Our Lenten Challenge is to read the Bible for 13 minutes a day. It only takes 13 minutes a day to read thru the Bible in a year! So imagine how far you will get for the 40+ (no Sundays off) days of Lent. There’s more info and some helpful resources on the website (https://www.umcgt.org/take-13-lent-2021). Let’s Take 13 for Lent!

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Church, let’s keep little Harper Durham in our prayers. She’s been through two more surgeries since we last saw her dancing at outdoor worship! I haven’t known her for long, but this I do know…Harper is a fighter! So let’s lift her and the Durham family in prayer. God is able!

Blessings,

Pastor Linda

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