Day 4: With the Wild Beasts

 With the Wild Beasts © Jan L. Richardson (click image to enlarge)

And he was with the wild beasts . . .
—Mark 1.13b

From a lectionary reading for Lent 1: Mark 1.9-15

Reflection for Saturday, February 25 (Day 4 of Lent)

I do not know why I should have it in my mind that these wild beasts come to comfort Jesus rather than eat him. But there it is. Perhaps it’s that word with. The wild beasts come not to stalk or attack or devour—as can happen in wild places, so let us not wax too romantic about the outdoors. They seem to come, rather, to be present to Jesus. To serve as companions. To be witnesses to his wrestling and provide solace in this space apart.

In this threshold place between what Jesus has known and the life that lies ahead of him, the creatures come as a reminder that God will not be domesticated, will not be tamed, is friendly with what lives by instinct and intuition. Within the God who fashioned and ordered the universe, something yet remains wild.

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3 Responses to “Day 4: With the Wild Beasts”

  1. Elizabeth Nordquist Says:

    This reminds me of Auden’s “Christmas Oratorio”:

    He is the Way.
    Follow Him through the Land of Unlikeliness.
    You will see rare beasts and have unique adventures.

    I am comforted; my curiosity is piqued. Thank you!

  2. Judy Says:

    These are wonderful reflections, especially the poem on Ash Wednesday. “Into the wilderness – with the wild beasts” is a fresh view, that helps to see familiar text in an unfamiliar light. Thank you.

  3. Carol Green Says:

    I wonder if the presence of wild beasts that have the instinct and power to attack their enemies helped to remind Jesus that he had the power to repel the tempter? It certainly is an interesting and different way to approach the text.

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