Growing up a fan of science fiction I learned early on that “alien” referred to beings from another planet. Usually oddly shaped in one or multiple ways, powerful and menacing, often scary, too. So it took me awhile to accept the term as applying to people from other countries…on planet earth. It’s in our faith DNA to live a bit like aliens in a home not quite ours. We’re aligned with a different set of stars and maintain an identity sometimes at odds with local culture. Gratitude and grace are central. But we forget who we are. And we’re tempted to dig in and build walls.
On the first Sunday in Lent we join Jesus in the desert where he faces down the powers of darkness. He goes deep and clear to carve out faith’s best self. We who follow remember who we really are.