March 6, 2022
A daily prayer from the New England Conference
The clergy and laity of the New England Conference are sharing a daily prayer based on the Revised Common Lectionary for the week. You are welcome to use these in worship or in your own devotions.
Based on Luke 4:1-12 Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. There he was tempted for forty days by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and afterward Jesus was starving. (Luke 4:1-2/CEB) God, you are the “infinite” One – not because you are infinitely “distant’ from us, but because you are infinitely “close” to us. You are infinitely “transcendent” from us, but, at the same time, you are infinitely “immanent” to us. Your son Jesus came to us as an ‘intimate’ and ‘touchable’ being who was boundlessly embracing, forgiving, and humble. His compassionate and empathetic heart reached everyone with no limit. His bold and fearless steps toward the human condition went beyond our imagination. He went to the wilderness, a dry and remote land where he underwent extreme hunger and thirst. He didn’t withhold anything, poured his entire being to the holy works of “sensing” our hunger and thirst, and became thoroughly vulnerable and fragile. Struggling with hunger and thirst, he was tempted by the devil for forty days. In this way, the son of the “mighty” God became the “weakest” being in the desert. Oh, loving, merciful, and infinite God, We thank you for Jesus who is infinitely “intimate” to us. He is not distant from our human struggles and frustrations such as: hunger, thirst, fear, anxiety, weakness, temptations, and power struggles. He came close to us by humbling himself and daring to feel, experience and catch our human needs. God of infinite love, As we begin our Lenten journey of getting closer to Jesus, let us find Jesus who touches our fearful heart; who cares for our helplessness by daring love; and who resides in us forever with the deepest compassion. In Christ we pray. Amen.
Rev. Jinyong Choi, North Boston Korean UMC, Andover, MA, Commonwealth West District Committee on Ordained Ministry