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by Susan Russell

The outward and visible signs of the shift into the Lenten season that began with the ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday continue with the hymns we sing and the prayers we pray through the forty days until Easter. One of my favorites is from the Eucharistic Prayer we use during Lent — with its challenge to claim “wilderness time” as both redemptive and liberating.


God of new life,
we thank you for the redemptive,
liberating power of Jesus.
When your Spirit led him into the wilderness
to be tested for his ministry,
he wrestled to understand his calling.

Now, as we make our way through our own wilderness,
we ask for the strength and the courage
to become the people you are calling us to be.