Imago’s Common Prayer
Because we believe the Kingdom expands, darkness flees, and Christ is formed in us
When the Church Prays together.
“I am now going to allure her. I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.”
These are the words of a jealous God, spoken to the prophet Hosea. God’s people had been unfaithful to the covenant and to him. To bring them back he would make her as a desert, “slay her with thirst,” and “block her path with thornbushes.” The Lord would “wall her in so that she cannot find her way,” so that, “She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them.” For jealousy is a husband’s fury; Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. - Proverbs 6:34
The Lord reveals himself as a jealous husband, destroying her lovers, and eager for her to re-experience the romance of covenantal love and be exalted with him – but first she must acknowledge him in the desert. The desert wilderness is a powerful theme in Scripture. The Lord is harkening back to a time when he had her to himself in the wilderness of Sinai, in the days of her youth, when he established his covenant with her and she responded exuberantly. The desert wilderness is the place of encounter. It’s the place of weakness, vulnerability, testing, maturation, and complete and utter trust in the One whose protection and provision is perfect.
Moses was atop mount Sinai in the desert for 40 days, Israel was in the wilderness for 40 years, Elijah fasted and prayed for 40 days in the desert, and “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.”
Lent is about encounter, about returning to our first love - but we must first acknowledge him. This Lent we will let him hedge us in, slay us with thirst, block our path and rearrange our rhythms away from our other lovers. We will acknowledge him and learn together how to “redeem the time” by engaging practices that leave space for encounter.
Practices will include:
Imago’s Common Prayer
The Daily Examen
Are you willing to be allured? Are you willing to be led into the desert by the Spirit? Abandon other lovers and return to the Lover of your soul. Do this and you will live, do this and you will arise.
A Holy and blessed Lent to you and yours,