Jesus in the wild

Lent 2024: Preparing our hearts for Easter


Why is it important?

In the tradition of the Global Church there is what is called the "worship calendar." As a part of this worship calendar, there are cycles of preparation, celebration, and proclamation. These cycles help us to re-orient our hearts and minds around the Gospel story, and the truths of life with God. In December we experienced this as the anticipation/preparation of Advent, the celebration of Christmas, and the proclamation of Epiphany. The cycle for this time of the year is: Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
Because Lent is the preparation piece of this cycle of the worship calendar, it is the 40 days (not counting Sundays) leading up to the celebration of Easter. Traditionally, this is a time remembering Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness where He fasted, prayed, and was tempted before He launched into His ministry. Due to this, Lent has often been practiced as a somber time of repentance, and characterized by fasting (depending, of course, on your tradition). We encourage everyone to engage Lent as they feel led, but as a community we are inviting you to enter into this story again, focusing on Jesus and His mission of re-uniting Heaven and earth, by focusing on a portion of Scripture together.

Jesus in the Wild

What is the meaning within the remarkable scene in Luke 4:1–14 of Jesus being challenged by the devil in the “wild”—the untamed and unruly wilderness? And what are the surprising implications of this event for followers of Jesus today?

In our focus of Jesus in the Wild, we will journey into the heart of one of the most unusual, and often most misunderstood, stories in the Gospel accounts. In this encounter, following his baptism in the Jordan and before the inauguration of his ministry, Jesus is alone with the adversary—the one whose works he had come to destroy (1 John 3:8). He faces three tests, or “temptations”—all aimed at unseating him from his identity, his belovedness, and his purpose as the Son of God.

Understanding how Jesus faced down the accuser in the wild helps to equip us to address every demonic challenge that comes our way in the wild places of our own lives.

Walk The Journey.

Sunday Morning Gatherings

"Jesus in the Wild" is the sermon series for our Sunday morning gatherings (Starting on February 18th). In it we'll be looking at Luke 4:1–14. Come and join us for worship, the Word, and ministry in community.

Daily Devotional

Our focus of "Jesus in the Wild" is based on the devotional by that name, by author Dan Wilt. You can access this devotional a couple of ways. You can access the devotional (free) via the VG App, or you can purchase it to own in various formats (e-reader, paperback) here.

"Jesus in the Wild" Small Group


If you would like to go deeper, with others, this Lent, there will be a short-run small-group that will be meeting for six weeks around the content and praxis of "Jesus in the Wild." It will meet on Saturday mornings from 9 am - 10:30 am at the church, for a time of thoughts from the author Dan Wilt (video), discussion, sharing, and prayer. If you would like to attend, please sign up here.


Lent is often thought of a time as fasting and saying "no" to things, but we'd like you to associate it with saying "yes" to something this year. Yes, to the practice of journaling. Experience alone doesn't bring transformation. Rather, we experience transformation as we reflect on those experiences in the presence of God. Whether on Sunday morning, utilizing the daily devotional, or in the small-group setting, we encourage you to journal as you prepare your heart for Easter.