To enrich your Lenten journey, we have gathered a list of some resources of daily devotionals, spiritual disciplines, worshipful practices, and theological reflection on our website. We encourage you to find a way to discover God’s call, grow in faith, and serve the world in Jesus’ name.
Worship Practices for Our Very Lives: During Highland’s Winter Term, our Wednesday night class, “The Worship that Is Our Very Lives,” explored the ways that the worship of God invites us to orient our lives towards loving God with our full hearts and our whole lives as one communal body of Christ. In our daily lives, we live bombarded with people, ideas, and worldviews that seek our attention, affection, and attachment. James K. Smith suggests that these “secular liturgies” misdirect our attention and leave us starving for the God whom we are created to love the most. It is essential that we find ways to worship God on our own during the week. During our final week of class, we translated our worship elements into daily practices that might allow us to reorient our wandering hearts, listen for God’s whispers and nudges, and prepare ourselves to be doers of the Word. As you prepare for Lent, how might these practices invite you to boldly live out the worship that is your very life?
- Have a reminder as you get out of bed to begin your day with gratitude.
- Consider what you are eating as a gift from God. Pause to offer thanksgiving.
- Confess the ways you have overvalued or undervalued your own worth and contributions.
- Recognize and affirm the gifts of others. Point out the ways they contribute to Jesus’ work in the world.
- Connect with people at your work so that you might foster belonging and gather around shared purpose.
- Sacrifice something you have in order to take care of someone else. Give thanks for that opportunity.
- Be intentional and prayerful in your preparation to care for others
- Understand breaking bread together as a sharing of communion
- Remember your baptism when you shower or bathe.
- Set aside a place in your home to meditate and pray.
- Sing hymns to yourself, listen to music, or set aside time to listen to the birds singing their praise.
- Welcome people into your home – new friends, old neighbors, and unexpected guests.
- Learn unconditional love from pets.
- Surround yourself with friends who challenge you.
- Sanctify leisure time as a set-aside time to connect with God’s gifts of art, music, nature, and friendship.
- Tend to God’s gifts in nature.
- Share the fruit of your leisure by bringing someone a meal or giving away crafted items.
- Develop partnerships and nurture companionship with all those who are moving with you towards a shared goal.
- Celebrate life as the day ends.
A Way Other than Our Own: Devotions for Lent, Walter Brueggemann
“We are on the road again! As followers of Jesus, we are on the road again in Lent, walking the way of obedience to Jerusalem for the big showdown with the authorities of church and state. It turns out, every time, to be a hazardous journey, full of toils and snares, potholes and adversaries, ending in a rigged trial. But women and men of faith are always on the road again, departing safe places, running risks, and hoping for well-being on the journey.”
Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter, Plough Publishing House’s compilation of writing from C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesteron, Philip Yancey, Frederick Buechner, Madeleline L’Engle, Henri J.M. Nouwen, Dorothy Day, Augustine, and many more
“To observe Lent is to strike at the root of such complacency. Lent (literally ‘springtime’) is a time of preparation, a time to return to the desert where Jesus spent forty days readying for his ministry. He allowed himself to be tested, and if we are serious about following him, we will do the same.”
Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons, Jan Richardson
“A blessing speaks from God’s mysterious heart into our own heart, meeting us in our ache for connection and presence. A blessing taps into our longing for what lies beyond our experience and understanding, helping us recognize how mystery makes its home within the familiar contours of our life.”
Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent, Richard Rohr
“There are two moments that matter. One is when you know that your one and only life is absolutely valuable and alive. The other is when you know your life, as presently lived, is entirely pointless and empty. You need both of them to keep you going in the right direction. Lent is about both.”
Passport’s daily devotional site, D365, offers a Lenten devotional series, “Journey to the Cross” for all ages.
Illustrated Lent for Families
Engaging the holy seasons of our faith can be a challenge in the midst of our daily life rhythms. When time limits just how many moments we spend together as families, how does a conversation about Ash Wednesday or the 40 days of Lent or Holy Week make its way in to our everyday language with intention?
Enter An Illustrated Lent for Families. Our ministry with children and families here at Highland wants to encourage you to use this family devotion resource during the Lenten season. The commitment of time is once a week and includes reading a scripture together, a reflection (perhaps to share with older children, or for you as an adult to have in your mind as you guide conversation), discussion questions, and a very short but meaningful activity that you can do together and for each member of your family to keep in mind as you move through the week. And it all wraps up with a prayer. The devotion can take as much or as little time as you have to give or attention span your child(ren) can maintain.
Each week also includes a coloring page that matches the scripture – work on it all week, color while talking, or have the whole family work on the page. It’s up to you.
The first devotion is for Ash Wednesday (today), followed by a weekly devotion for the 6 weeks of Lent, as well as specific practices for Good Friday and a devotion for Easter Day. There will be printed copies in our common areas (nursery, preschool and children) for you to pick up should you not have access to a printer. To receive a digital copy, please contact Renee Purtlebaugh, Associate Pastor to Children and Their Families, in the church office or via email.