“Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3”: A new podcast series for Lent

Instead of giving up something for Lent, consider what Jesus didn’t give into. Temptation.

“Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3” is the newest podcast series from Good Faith Media and part of The Raceless Gospel Initiative. Named for the three temptations Jesus experienced in the wilderness, The Raceless Gospel podcast offers weekly reflections on what it means to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, highlighting the trying times of his three-year ministry.

Streaming on all platforms, the first episode, “Testing the Waters,” was released on February 22 and claims that Satan is testing the waters of baptism when he asks Jesus to have a bake sale. Up next, “Testing God.”

Not just a soundcheck, each episode beckons those who have “ears to hear” what Jesus is saying and to reconsider what they have been called to.

Not to be taken lightly, there will be testing.

Repeating after Jesus is dangerous.  It can get you killed.  This is why the disciples gave the cat their tongue, why they feigned deafness, laryngitis and amnesia when the authorities came to arrest Jesus.  “Jesus who?  I’ve never met him before in my life.”  They didn’t even want to be found in the same sentence with Jesus because it was a death sentence.  But Jesus was always a dead man walking. 

The disciples would rather take the walk of shame back to their homes rather than travel Calvary’s road with Jesus.  They would rather hang their heads in disgrace than in solidarity with him.  They said they wanted life eternal in heaven but, in the end, they wanted to live another day on earth.  They spared their necks but revealed their hearts.  They just didn’t think the man and his message were worth dying for. 

Repeating after Jesus is hazardous for your health.  It is not the smartest or safest thing to do.  The gospel of Jesus Christ should come with a warning label: This message if practiced faithfully may cause abandonment, isolation, ridicule and shame.  It is also old life- threatening, prone to end friendships and relationships if taken seriously.

The gospel is not medicine that goes down easy.  Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor writes in her book Gospel Medicine, “(T)he medicine of the gospel—those healing stories did more to put people back together than all the potions in the world.”[i]  Still, we fold our arms, shake our heads and refuse to open our mouths to receive it.  “It’s not sweet enough.  It has a funny smell.  It makes me feel funny, stranger or not like myself,” we say.  I fear that we don’t take in more of the gospel because we don’t like the side effects.

Thomas a Kempis said,

“There will always be many who love Christ’s heavenly kingdom, but few who will bear his cross.  Jesus has many who desire consolation, but few who care for adversity.  He finds many to share his table, but few who will join him in fasting.  Many are eager to be happy with him; few wish to suffer anything for him.  Many will follow him as far as the breaking of bread, bur few will remain to drink from his passion.  Many are awed by his miracles, few accept the shame of his cross.”[ii]

The good news is hard on our ears and bad for our reputation.  Our lives as we knew them will not survive.  Everything goes down Calvary’s hill from here.  Thomas a Kempis continues, “The whole life of Christ was a cross.  And the more spiritual progress you strive for, the heavier will your cross become, for as your love for God increases so will the pain of your exile.”[iii] Those who follow Christ will find themselves on an island by themselves or in the wilderness.

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3. Can you hear me?

To read more about this new Lenten podcast series, click here.

To listen to the first episode, “Testing the Water,” click here.

[i] Barbara Brown Taylor, Gospel Medicine, (Plymouth, United Kingdom, Cowley Publications, 1995), ix.

[ii] The Editors, Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter, (Walden, NY: Plough Publishing House, 2003), 36.

[iii] Ibid 40.

Posted by

Seeking to lead words and people to their highest and most authentic expression, I am the principal architect of a race/less world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s