a desolate community in a desolate wilderness
a place to get away from the violence of the city.
To escape urban violence into the desert
is to face the violence within.
Jesus went into desolation
into the Judean Wilderness
to prepare his ministry.
The Temptations came …
the lure of worldly violence
(disguised as wealth, power, status),
and the experience of inner violence
(staying in control, having it your own way,
not paying the price).
Jesus was able to face the Temptation
and say: “No!”
I face the Temptation
and say: “I’d rather not, but tell me more!”
Our Biblical forebears heaped up a pile of stones
to commemorate something special that happened.
Today Middle Easterners throw stones
when they are angry.
Stones are so plentiful in the Middle East…
and in our lives
weapons for our violence and building blocks for our spirituality.