We are nearly half-way through the Lent season between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. You may have a devotional or reading plan that you have chosen. If so, keep going! If you have not chosen a reading plan or would like to start but don’t know where to start, the attached document is designed to be a helpful starting point in the coming weeks leading up to Easter. The readings are designed to help you reflect upon Christ’s death and resurrection and anticipate the full reality of redemption in our lives and in creation.
Traditionally, lent readings would walk through the life of Jesus from his birth, life and ministry, trial, death, and culminate in his resurrection. Reading through one of the Gospel’s is a wonderful and beneficial discipline to practice throughout the year. Lent readings would also refrain from using “praise” or “hallelujah” in the readings. This is a season of somber reflection and repentance, often involving fasting from certain foods.
My reading plan that I gave to those at my church differ in two ways from other Lent readings. First, a few of the Psalms and other readings include a response of “praise” in them. This is intentional because while Lent is a time for solemn reflection and repentance, Lent is a reminder that God’s power is real, His grace is available, and our hope is substantial and eternal.
Lent culminates in life not death! God’s people live in the shadows of Christ’s resurrection and the certain hope of our own resurrection.
Second, the Lent readings are scattered with the reminder of God’s people mission while on earth. Lent can serve as a great reminder that followers of Jesus have a story to tell of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as the only means available for the forgiveness of sins and the renewal of all things. It is an opportunity to share how God, in His grace, saved us through faith in Jesus by sharing our testimony with our friends or family. The Lent readings culminate with a reminder for Jesus’ disciples to “make disciples of all the nations” with the confidence that our work is not in vain because of Jesus’ resurrection.
Lent is an opportunity to realign our lives according the priorities and practices of Jesus in light of His death and resurrection.