Christ in the Wilderness

“Christ in the Wilderness” by Kelly Latimore.

Kindred in Christ,

The American novelist, theological poet, and environmental activist, Wendell Berry writes:

“As I have read the Gospels over the years, the belief has grown in me that Christ did not come to found an organized religion but came instead to found an unorganized one. He seems to have come to carry religion out of the temples into the fields and sheep pastures, onto the roadsides and the banks of the rivers, into the houses of sinners and publicans, into the town and the wilderness, toward the membership of all that is here.”

Berry highlights for us that Jesus’ life and ministry can be understood as a movement “out of the temples” and into the wilderness where the outcasts and common people reside. Likewise, in the gospel accounts we often witness Jesus retreating into nature in order to hear the voice of God more clearly. The above icon (inspired by Wendell Berry’s words) is a depiction of Jesus’ trust in God and venture into the unknown.

This week, we will reflect upon the significance that Jesus was baptized not in a temple but in the wilderness (Matthew 3:1-3, 13-17). We will also be celebrating the baptism of Abigail Jo Smith! Join us as we continue in our series, Lessons from the Wilderness! See you on Facebook Live!

Alongside you,

-Rev. Paul Ortiz