An Opportune Time

a sermon on Luke 9: 28-43

“I refuse to preach a sad Lent!”

I’m not sure that’s really a Lenten theme or just a promise to myself. There’s so much sadness in the world already, that it seemed more appropriate to preach an active Lent — a Lent where we do things despite or even to help with the sad things in the world as we turn our attention back to Jesus.

Our Scripture passage today is Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. We think this is when Jesus defeated “the devil” by his clever quotation of Scripture. But in fact, Luke tells us, the devil merely backs off until “an opportune time” to strike again. And those of us who know the story, know that the opportune time for betrayal and sin and death do indeed come again. But Jesus doesn’t spend his time waiting for the devil bemoaning his fate or curling up in inaction. There’s spiritual and physical work to be done.

That’s where we are this Lent — with much to do both in our own spirits and with the Spirit in the world. Listen for my full sermon on how we’re called to “do” Lent this year here.