February 29, 2004

J. Evan Kreider - “Enter the Garden throught the Wilderness”

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J. Evan Kreider took four texts from the Lectionary (an exercise Evan enjoys for its connection with the larger Christian community) to inspire us to engage in the Lenten season with his talk “You enter the garden by going through the wilderness/desert.” In Dt 26:1-11 the wandering Armenian, the ancestor of all who follow God, one who never blended into the culture but kept himself distinct gives us our first image of wandering the desert to enter the garden. This echoes the wanderings of the Jewish people in the process of forming their own nation. In Ps 9:9-16, through words of action, the psalmist echoes God’s promise to the Jews as reward for their purposeful wandering. Rom 10:8-13 tells of the wandering of Christians in the “wilderness” of Rome - there was no city so estranged from devotion to godly living as Rome. Yet this passage too promises that those who wandered the wilderness will be saved. And in Luke 4:1-13, we are told of three of the many temptations Jesus passed, ones that his Jewish ancestors failed. This forty days that Jesus went through has inspired Christians through history to emulate this fasting in order to achieve spiritual perfection, yet nowadays we consider it more important to diet to achieve physical perfection. Through manna, through tests, through history, the Jews in the wilderness were taught that it is not food that keeps you alive, but the word of God. Evan asks – are you willing to wander the desert in order to enter the garden? This quote from James Healy inspires: “Of this we can be sure - God walked there first... We do not face it alone Jesus has gone there before us to struggle with every demon that has ever plagued a human heart. Face the desert we must, if we would reach the garden, but Jesus has gone there before us.” [AP]


Passage: Lectionary
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event: Lent I
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: J. Evan Kreider
Worship Leader: Diane Schartner
Song Leader: Erna Friesen
Pianist: Angela Ekkert
Zoom Coordinator:
Children's Feature Leader:


Bring Flowers:
Coffee Helper:
Sound Helper:


Child Care Volunteer: Heather Schantz

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