Some Lent reading suggestions for you…
Some excellent good reads for Lent
Below is a selection of books to read this Lent. Some are sequential – taking you on a 40 day journey through Lent to Easter. Others are just good books. A warning though – I haven’t read all of them!
Saying Yes to Life: The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2020
Saying Yes to Life lifts our focus from natural, everyday concerns to issues that are having an impact on millions of lives around the world. As people made in the image of God, we are entrusted to look after what he has created: to share in God’s joy and ingenuity in making a difference for good. Ruth Valerio imaginatively draws on the Days of Creation (Genesis 1) as she relates themes of light, water, land, the seasons, other creatures, humankind, Sabbath rest and resurrection hope to matters of environmental, ethical and social concern.
Foundational to Saying Yes to Life is what it means to be human and, in particular, to be a follower of Jesus. Voices from around the world are heard throughout, and each chapter ends with discussion questions and a prayer to aid action and contemplation.
The Sacrament of Easter
Roger Greenacre and Jeremy Haselock
Starting from the premise that Easter is the heart and climax of the whole Christian year, this readable study explores the liturgy of the Church from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost in the light of its biblical roots and its theological and spiritual background.
This is a little bit more involved than your average Lent book – but highly commended if you are prepared to do some thinking for yourself and allow yourself to be informed and asked to think more deeply about what you think you know. It will change your understanding of what we do, not only at Easter, but on each Sunday of the year – and for the better. I guarantee it.
Winged with Longing for Better Things
Rather than classical penitence, this book emphasizes intercession, solidarity, and preparation. Its aim is to help readers learn to view the world incarnationally and sacramentally. In rejecting one’s own embodiment and the natural world, the earth is being irreparably harmed by our destructive actions. The book invites readers to move beyond sympathy for those in strife into action and advocacy on the behalf of the earth and its less powerful inhabitants. Photographs and poetry enhance the daily devotional readings.
Where the Lost Things Go
A Lent Course on Faith and Deliverance in Mary Poppins Returns
A brilliant new Lent Course for 2020, based on the hugely popular film Mary Poppins Returns starring an ensemble cast including: Emily Blunt, Ben Wishaw, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Julie Walters and Dick Van Dyke. This radiant, timeless tale provides the ideal springboard for Lent study and discussion. The five-week course offers discussion points, biblical reflections and prayers based on short excerpts from the film. The chosen themes each session are: Belief and Unbelief; Loss, Denial and Acceptance; Money Versus Trust; Being Lost, Being Found; Light and Darkness. Suitable for groups and individuals.
Pilgrim Journeys: The Beatitudes – 40 Days of Reflections for Lent 2019
Pilgrim Journeys: The Beatitudes invites you to explore the unexpected and often challenging vision Jesus sets out in this crucial part of his teachings. Each day provides you with a short reflection on a Bible reading, an invitation to pray and a suggestion of how you might respond to the Beatitudes’ challenge to live as God intends, both as an individual and in community. The Pilgrim Journeys booklets are ideal daily companions for anyone seeking to grow in the Christian faith. They are suitable for those preparing for baptism or confirmation – including those using the Pilgrim discipleship course – but can be used by anyone at any stage of their Christian journey.
Walking the Way of the Cross
Prayers and Reflections on the Biblical Stations of the Cross
Stephen Cottrell, Paula Gooder, Philip North
Found in Common Worship: Times and Seasons, The Way of the Cross is a series of scripture-based devotions for personal or group use in Lent and Holy Week. Similar in intent to the traditional Stations of the Cross, it focuses wholly on the biblical narrative of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. This seasonal companion provides the sequence of fifteen meditations appears in full, including opening and concluding prayers. Each is accompanied by three short reflections from different perspectives by three of today’s very best spiritual writers: – Paula Gooder offers reflections on the scriptural narratives; – Stephen Cottrell considers the story from the perspective of personal discipleship; – Philip North explores the story’s challenge to mission and witness.
And a firm favourite of many people….
The Heart’s Time – A Poem a Day for Lent and Easter
by Janet Morley
A day by day Lent book aimed at the individual reader, in which a poem appropriate to the themes of the season is read, along with a short reflection from the editor and a couple of questions to ponder. The purpose is to use a poetic text as the basis for ‘slow reflection’ during Lent and Eastertide.
One reviewer wrote: “A beautiful book, A lovely collection of poems. Also enjoyed the thoughtful meditations following each one.. A volume to treasure and keep on the bedside table. Thoroughly recommend.”