Christians observe the Season of Lent to remind ourselves what it means to be truly alive and to make ourselves available to the love that relentlessly seeks to get us out of the graves we tend to bury ourselves in.
If we really lean into Lent, we will discover once again who we really are: the Beloved. And we will commit ourselves anew to the only life really worth living: the way of love.
To put this another way, Lent gets us ready for Easter. It’s not a season defined by dismal guilt trips and tiresome self-deprivation. During Lent we can experience our deep need for God’s love and the remarkable, life-giving, liberating power of that very love.
Ash Wednesday falls on March 2 this year. That date is likely to sneak up on many of us. That’s why I’m offering you a brief word about planning for Lent. In particular, here are some suggestions for personal and group study.
I’ll begin with two of my own books. Each includes a study guide. And if you decide to gather as a group, I will be happy to join you during Lent (or even during the Easter Season) for a Zoom or in-person Q&A session (contact Holly Windham at email@example.com and she’ll set us up). So, here are my two most recent books:
Looking for God in Messy Places
Another author that I find especially insightful is Amy-Jill Levine. You might consider one of these titles:
Witness at the Cross
The Difficult Words of Jesus
Sermon on the Mount
Here are a few more excellent reads to consider:
Diana Butler Bass, Freeing Jesus
Lauren Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath
Lauren Winner, Wearing God
Kate Bowler, No Cure for Being Human
Richard Rohr, Falling Upward
Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing
Rachel Held Evans and Jeff Chu, Wholehearted Faith
In the meantime dear readers, take good care of yourselves. Stay safe and be well. And remember that you are loved.
Oh, interesting! Your mention of your books brought me a reflection that the theme of Lent is really the theme of all of your work, writing, and message! I can’t think of a better life theme! Lent is all about finding God in the”Messy Places”–which is really discovering God (and Grace) in the human condition! When I was younger, I rebelled against the suffering of Lent and the symbol of the crucifix, but as I become more open to all of life, the compassionate beauty begins to shine through. Thank you for your service in always pointing your finger towards that moon!
Thanks for the reminder that Lent is fast approaching and for the resource list. I am emerging from the fog of grief (my mom died at the end of June and I left my work in early July)–and I am looking forward to entering into Lent.
You have been through a great deal, Madeline. I pray that Lent will lead to a personal Easter for you. Blessings friend.