Lent 3C Sermon
The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Emmanuel Episcopal Church,
Exodus 3: 1-15; Psalm 63:1-8; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9
Hindsight is 20/20 they say. Looking back at history can sometimes make us think that quite remarkable events were not so remarkable. Looking back at history demands a sense of clearing the decks before entering into the world that came before. To enter the world of Lewis and Clark, for instance, would demand that we look carefully at the assumptions that they held, the experiences that they had, and the abilities and temperament that they had as they began their journey to the West. As Lewis and Clark headed West, they probably had no real sense about just how treacherous the journey would be. They probably had no real sense about how just how high and forbidding the
Rocky Mountains would be. Having climbed the Blue Ridge Mountains and having learned the skills they needed for the wilderness put them in a good position as they headed into the wilderness. However, their Voyage of Discovery would land them not just in the wilderness, but beyond it.
Going into the wilderness, into uncharted territory, demands courage, stamina, and a kind of fearlessness that we may not really think we possess. But, we each have entered wilderness from time to time in our lives.
The wilderness of loneliness.
The wilderness of joblessness.
The wilderness of the necessary losses that come with living.
The wilderness of experiencing the death of loved ones.
The wilderness of unrealized dreams.
The wilderness of facing our own mortality.
We each have entered the wilderness. And we each have also gone beyond the wilderness. When we enter the wilderness of our lives, we may find the urge to return by the same way. We may look to follow the bread crumbs that we left as we entered the dark cave. However, for most of us, the only way out is the way through and beyond. The path “back” takes us through and beyond. Like the Magi after they visited the infant Jesus, we often “go home by a different way.” To go into the wilderness demands courage, stamina, and a kind of fearlessness that we may not really think we possess. And yet, somehow, we do.
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