The longer I’m a Christian (and the older I get), the more I find myself syncing up with the rhythms of the church calendar and craving intentionality in how I engage with these seasons. Lent this year begins on March 6 and is the 46 days leading up to Easter (40 fast days and 6 feast Sundays).
You probably know Lent as the time of year when people give up chocolate or alcohol or social media, but to me, it’s much more meaningful than that. It’s a season where I seek to engage well in spiritual disciplines to recenter and focus my heart on the Lord, prioritizing Him above the things I often get distracted by or consumed in. It’s not just about giving something up for the heck of it, but instead remove a distraction to better create space for God in my life and in my heart. (ps— I haven’t fully decided what I’ll be doing for Lent!)
I love how Erin Moon describes this season (in this podcast!): “These disciplines are meant to empty us so that the Lord may fill us. We are making ourselves available to Christ in hopes of growing our faith. When we get into a mindset closely related to Jesus as he fasted and prayed, we are getting closer to him. We are removing distractions. We're waiting, but we're not wasting our time.”
I wanted to share some helpful resources about this season of Lent, and I pray they’re encouraging and meaningful to you as you move through these next 46 days leading up to Easter!
What I’m using this year:
O Heavy Lightness: A Guide for Lent and Holy Week by Erin Moon // (use code ERIN15 for a discount) When you purchase O Heavy Lightness, you get: A 12-page PDF guide to the church calendar and observing Lent and Holy Week. 47 daily devotions in PDF and audio form that include: The Request for Presence, Daily Scripture and Devotional Thought, Call to Action, A Daily Song, A Daily Visual Meditation.
Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings by Henri Nouwen //from Amazon: Nouwen invites readers to join him on a 40-day Lenten path as fellow pilgrims, from the solemn beginning of Ash Wednesday to the joyous climax of Easter. This inspirational "search for the way" speaks directly to the heart during this time of reflection and prayer.
The Passion of the King of Glory (Retelling the Story) by Russ Ramsey //from Amazon: Pastor Russ Ramsey invites us to rediscover our wonder at Jesus' sinless life, brutal death, and glorious resurrection. Featuring forty short chapters recounting key episodes from Jesus' time on earth, this book expands on the biblical narrative in a fresh and creative way―giving us a taste of what it would have been like to walk next to Jesus and experience his earthly ministry firsthand.
What I’ve used in the past:
Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter by various authors // This is a great collection with a variety of writings from different authors — if you’re looking for a catchall place to start that will give you many different perspectives and thoughts in short readings each day, I’d start with this one! I enjoyed it several years in a row.
Home by Another Way by Barbara Brown Taylor // This book walks through the church calendar for a year, so it’s not entirely focused on Lent, but would be a great addition to your reading if you’re looking to engage more with liturgies throughout the year. I’m a huge fan of BBT and would highly recommend anything and everything she writes!
Preparing for Easter: Fifty Devotional Readings from C.S. Lewis // Love Lewis, and have no doubt this collection is beautiful and rich.
Holy Solitude: Lenten Reflections with Saints, Hermits, Prophets, and Rebels by Heidi Haverkamp // This one was recommended by somebody I follow online (and of course now can’t remember) but it sounds awesome!
Because He Lives: Easter from She Reads Truth // you can buy the physical study books on their site, but the daily devotionals are also free on the site and app throughout Lent! I honestly prefer just doing that, since the devotional content isn’t even in the books, only the passages are (which I use my Bible for anyway).
Raechel Myers + Amanda Bible Williams (from She Reads Truth) were on the That Sounds Fun podcast with Annie F. Downs to talk about Lent + Easter
40 Days of Lent Devotional // This is one I designed at work, and it’s a great compilation of prayers, Scripture, and reflections for this season.
Erin H. Moon was on the Don’t Mom Alone podcast with Heather McFadyen to talk about “Preparing Our Hearts for Easter”