Lent 2017 {Preparing for Easter}

I’ve missed writing.

But, life in the new year began on a dead run  – and stayed that way.

Now, it’s time to slow down…

And although I don’t need a reason or excuse to hop off the busy bandwagon and into a slow, small space, I have one: Lent.

lent 2017

While my church doesn’t formally observe this season, I still do. And you can too. (Beginning tomorrow!)

It’s a time to take away; to fast. To humbly, quietly, and intentionally look toward the cross. To recenter and refocus. To sit in the stillness and ponder his promises.

It’s beautiful – like a long, deep breath then a restful, slow exhale.

So, for the next 40 days, I have chosen a “fast,” a book, an app, and an Audible book. Here’s a few resources if you’re interested in observing this season.

My book: Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement by Kris Camealy Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 7.33.19 PM

What if for Lent this year, you gave up something other than chocolate or TV.? What if the thing God wants us to give up costs more than what we think we can bear? Writing as a friend and encourager, Kris offers hope and encouragement for the journey of moving from broken in sin (Holey) to learning to surrender (Wholly) to claiming the gift of grace through Christ (Holy).

My app: You are Mine: A Lenten Study of Isaiah by She Reads Truth (I paid $2.99 for the app, but you can also receive free emails.)

It is impossible to overstate our need for a Savior. During this Lent study, we will read the book of Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet who, more than any other, describes the coming of Christ in great detail. During the final week of Lent, we will read passages from the Gospels that correspond to the events of Holy Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 7.40.14 PMWeek, the final days of Christ’s journey to the cross. Isaiah’s message of repentance and restoration illustrates the salvation we so desperately need, and the Holy Week scriptures turn our eyes to the salvation already given us in the completed work of Christ. Join us as we observe Lent together.

My Audible book (for the car and mornings): From the Grave by A.W. Tozer

From the Grave, a 40-day Lent devotional, reflects on this critical spiritual dynamic. It features A. W. Tozer’s best insights on faith, repentance, suffering, and redemption. Gleaned from transcribed sermons, editorials, and published books, each moving reflection has been carefully selected for the season of Lent. It addresses themes like: Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. Mortification of the flesh. Self-denial and cross-bearing. New life in Christ. Christian obedience and resurrection hope. Each day features a brief portion of Scripture for Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 7.39.27 PMmeditation followed by a reflection from Tozer. Together the entries take you on a journey from the garden to the grave to light of day—the “pain-wracked path” to life.

Some other options I love…

Preparing for Easter by C.S. Lewis

Preparing for Easter is a concise, handy companion for the faithful of all Christian traditions and the curious to help them deepen their knowledge and consideration of this holy season—a time of reflection as we consider Jesus’s sacrifice and his joyous rise from the dead. Carefully curated, each selection in Preparing for Easter draws on a major theme in Lewis’s writings on the Christian life, as well as others that consider why we can have confident faith in what Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 7.46.09 PMhappened on the cross.

A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent by Walter Brueggemann

Lent recalls times of wilderness and wandering, from newly freed Hebrew slaves in exile to Jesus temptation in the desert. God has always called people out of their safe, walled cities into uncomfortable places, revealing paths they would never have chosen. Despite our culture of self-indulgence, we too are called to walk an alternative path one of humility, justice, and peace. Walter Brueggemann s thought-provoking reflections for the season of Lent invite us to consider the challenging, beautiful life that comes with walking the way of grace.

Eastertide: Prayers for Lent Through Easter from the Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle

“A wise rabbi once told me that it is not how many prayers we don’t say that matters to God, but rather how many we do. That is important to all of us, but especially for beginners. If this is your first attempt to return to this most ancient of Christian practices, it is wise to remember that you are entering into a discipline and, like all disciplines, this one sits hard Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 7.43.53 PMand heavy upon one at times. There are hours you will miss and/or some that you can’t even begin to figure out how to observe. That is all right, for either the joy will carry you into greater joy and transmute the discipline into privilege, or you will find yourself simply the wiser and the richer for such experience as you have had. As the rabbi said, that is what matters ultimately.” In her acclaimed trilogy, The Divine Hours, Phyllis Tickle introduced modern Christians to the time-honored practice of “praying the hours.” In this exquisite new volume, she provides a vibrant program of prayer dedicated to the anticipation of Christ’s resurrection.

I hope you’ll set aside the next 40 days to praise and ponder; wander and wonder; live and love; share and sacrifice; fast and forgive.  And I’d love to know how you’re choosing to observe Lent! Please share in the comments.

I plan to share some quotes and verses throughout my Lenten journey on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you have a great quote or verse, please share it. I’d love to pass it on too!

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