by Christina Hubbard
Lent is an ancient church tradition, but may be new to many of us raised in an evangelical tradition. Although the origins are a bit scattered (see #3 below), it’s not just about Ash Wednesday and fasting the vice of your choice. Lent can be a deeply meaningful forty-day journey, made more profound by a book to guide you to the pinnacle moment of Easter.
Here are my suggestions for great reads to prepare your heart during the Lenten season.
Check These Out
1. Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement by Kris Camealy
The first book I ever read on Lent. A reflective personal journey through sacrifice, grief, and resurrection. Artful and soul-stirring.
2. Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days by Trevor Hudson
Carve out time for reflection with one word each day for the 40 days of Lent. I love the prayers and depth in this very accessible read, as well as the idea of Little Easters. This is one I’ll be rereading this year.
3. 40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of Hunger. A Different Kind of Fast. by Alicia Britt Chole
This book includes sources and summaries of the origins of Lent, which I found fascinating. What really sets this book apart though is the invitation to a fast, not of eating or drinking, but of decreasing ourselves so Christ can increase.
4. A Way other than Our Own: Devotions for Lent by Walter Brueggemann
Brueggemann’s writing is complex and weighty, but he writes eloquently. In my opinion, one of his strengths is challenging the church as a whole and generations of passivity. If you want a major perspective shift during Lent and don’t mind a bit of heady work, give this one a go.
5. Being Brave: A 40-Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You by Kelly Johnson
Johnson presents the idea of bravery not as splendor and valor, but of weakness and authenticity. For this reason, it’s an excellent read and very accessible. She’s also offering a 2018 Lenten book club study here.