I thought I’d share what I’m doing for Lent this year and share the resources with my blog readers.
Devotional for Lent
Just like for Advent, I went with Pittsburgh Theological Seminary for my Lent devotional this year. We are also using it on Morning Prayer days, so I have shared this resource with my church. You can print as a booklet, receive it as a daily email but coolest of all… there’s even an app for it! Android + Apple.
Book Club – Dethroning Mammon
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lenten Book for this year is one he wrote himself! I had the privilege of listen to Archbishop Justin teach us in the Community of St Anselm about money, and he has a lot of wisdom in this area. I am starting a bookclub for those in my local area, reading a chapter a week and discussing over coffee.
In his first full-length book Justin Welby looks at the subject of money and materialism. Designed for study in the weeks of Lent leading up to Easter, Dethroning Mammon reflects on the impact of our own attitudes, and of the pressures that surround us, on how we handle the power of money, called Mammon in this book. Who will be on the throne of our lives? Who will direct our actions and attitudes? Is it Jesus Christ, who brings truth, hope and freedom? Or is it Mammon, so attractive, so clear, but leading us into paths that tangle, trip and deceive? Archbishop Justin explores the tensions that arise in a society dominated by Mammon’s modern aliases, economics and finance, and by the pressures of our culture to conform to Mammon’s expectations. Following the Gospels towards Easter, this book asks the reader what it means to dethrone Mammon in the values and priorities of our civilisation and in our own existence. In Dethroning Mammon, Archbishop Justin challenges us to use Lent as a time of learning to trust in the abundance and grace of God.
40 Bags in 40 Days
Recently I saw the documentary on Netflix ‘Minimalism’ and I was challenged about how much stuff I have. I follow the blog White House Black Shutters and each year the writer does a challenge called ’40 Bags in 40 Days’ to coincide with Lent. The basic premise is that each day during Lent you get rid of a bag of stuff. Anywhere from a supermarket bag to a bin bag! And it can be thrown out, recycled, donated or sold. Find out more on the website + facebook.
The author, Ann Marie, recently had someone comment ‘Lent is a season in the Christian church intended for contemplating the life and death of Jesus. I find it very offensive that you’re co-opting a religious holiday to use for spring cleaning. You could do this challenge at any other time. Jesus doesn’t care how roomy your closet is.’ The response she makes, is really amazing, and you can read it here. But the highlights are:
Jesus doesn’t care about how roomy my closet is, nor do I care how roomy it is. I care more about how wasteful I’ve been and what I can do to improve. To me, Lent is a time of prayer, sacrifice, and self-denial. Getting a little bit uncomfortable and offering it up for good intentions; to improve yourself for the better of those around you. Anyone can benefit from those, regardless of religion or if you don’t do Lent. Could I donate unused clothing to those in need? Do we let food go to waste? Am I spending money on new possessions when I could be helping those in need? Yes. Having too much can be wrong and wasteful and I need to take steps to be better.
She also makes a great point that freedom from possessions can free us up to give more of our finances and more of our time – to God and to others. How much time in our day is buying, maintaining & managing possessions? How much of our stuff can be given away or sold to help those in need? She concludes:
I started it so I can spend more time with those I love, so I can help others, be less wasteful, consume less, make room for prayer, and be more intentional in my life. Which will ultimately help me follow Him more readily.
What are you doing for Lent this year? Please share your resources below!