People sometimes say that they go through wilderness periods in their lives. What might it mean to go through a wilderness period (times of loss or struggle, feeling lost, etc.)? What are some examples of wilderness periods: that you have been through, others you know have been through, or people in our city, country, or around the world are going through?
How might we find hope in our wilderness periods (Ex: God meets us in the wilderness and helps us along the way. In Lent, the resurrection comes after the wilderness, and throughout Lent, we see glimpses of Easter each week. This reminds us of that hope in the resurrection and that new life will come after the wilderness.)?
Contributed by the Rev. Emily Heitzman from musingsfromabricolage.wordpress.com
Most of this text focuses on the temptation. But was the temptation at the beginning of Jesus’ journey in the wilderness? When did it occur (After 40 days and 40 nights of Jesus in the wilderness.)?
What do you think Jesus did and experienced in the wilderness for those 40 days and 40 long nights (Jesus went directly from his baptism to the wilderness before he began his ministry. He was actually driven into the wilderness by the Spirit. He was there for a purpose: to prepare for what was to come: to prepare for his ministry and his journey to the cross and the resurrection. So he fasted, prayed, and prepared as he got away from everything.)?
Explain: Our Bible doesn’t tell us much about what specifically happened during that time of preparation for those 40 days and 40 nights. But here's an artist’s depiction of what happened. In this video, there are 40 drawings of Jesus in the wilderness, one for each day. Watch and think about what it was like for Jesus in the wilderness as he prepared for His ministry.
Watch Video: “A Video of Jesus in the Wilderness”
What are your thoughts on the video?
Who was the tempter or accuser in the drawings (a stronger version of Jesus, himself)? What do you think the artist meant by that? How might we take that to mean in our own lives?
Do you think that the wilderness was a good thing for Jesus?
Would a wilderness be a good thing for us? Why (Have any of you ever been in a wilderness – in a place that is secluded, quiet, etc.? What was it like? How did you feel? Was it rejuvenating or renewing?)?
Contributed by the Rev. Emily Heitzman from www.musingsfromabricolage.wordpress.com