Lent, 2014: Resources

The liturgical calendar offers different ways to experience and worship through the seasons of the year. Christmas and Epiphany are seasons of celebration; the months after Pentecost, referred to by Roman Catholics as “Ordinary Time,” provide an opportunity to explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ in the humdrum of ordinary life. By contrast, Lent is a season of repentance and spiritual discipline. It calls us to take God seriously for a few weeks. Lent asks us to see ourselves in our vulnerable humanity as the words of Ash Wednesday challenge us, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.”

I hope that members of Grace (and readers of the blog) will endeavor this Lent to reflect and deepen our spiritual lives. There are many ways of doing this–by reading some work of spiritual significance, adopting spiritual practices like prayer and fasting, or following one or more of the many Lenten resources on the web.

At Grace, we’ll have a bible study on Wednesday evenings (March 12-April 9) focusing on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). You can find out more about it here, including some opportunities for following along on-line. If you can’t join us on Wednesday nights and would like to use the Sermon on the Mount for your own spiritual focus during Lent, I encourage you to get a copy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship.

Maggie Dawn offers 40 ideas for observing Lent

Nadia Bolz-Weber and the Church of All Sinners and Saints offers 40 Ideas for Keeping a Holy Lent

Lenten Devotionals:

And, of course, in a category of its own: Lent Madness!

Lenten Study: The Big Class: Making Sense of the Cross with David Lose:

Description: Whatever we say about the cross, we are also saying about God. So what does the cross mean? What can it tell us about God? How can it help us approach, understand, and know God better? In Part One of this three-part series, David Lose invites us to consider that the best way to understand the cross is through experience.

Lenten Resources 2013

Lent is a week away. As observed in contemporary Christianity, it is a time for renewed focus on one’s spiritual life, an opportunity to explore more deeply Christian faith and to enter more deeply into one’s relationship with Jesus Christ. Many people adopt spiritual disciplines during the period of Lent, fasting or “giving something up.” Others take on spiritual disciplines–reading, a more regular prayer life, or making a retreat. The internet offers many innovative ways of observing Lent. Here are some I’ve found (I’ll continue to update this post in the coming week or so as I learn of new sites).

Lent Madness (Here’s a description of it; and here’s coverage of it from USA Today)

From Episcopal Relief and Development

The Huffington Post collected wonderful materials related to Lent last year. You can visit that site here. We hope they will do the same in 2013.

The Daily Office for your computer; and for your smartphone: St. Bede’s Breviary

Busted Halo’s online Lenten Calendar for 2013

Daily videos from the Society of St. John the Evangelist

And a plan for daily readings from the Church Fathers for the 40 days of Lent

From Nadia Bolz Weber: House of All Sinners and Saints’ 40 Ideas for Keeping a Holy Lent

From Episcopal Charities and Community Services (Diocese of Chicago): A Lenten Devotional Calendar