The liturgical season of Lent positions us to ponder the earthly journey of Christ, his labor and determination, his clear-sightedness and hope. Here are some of the spiritual resources our staff plan to use this Lent. Perhaps one will speak to you.

Books

Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter (Plough, 2003)
Drawing from a deep well of Christian writers over the last two hundred years, this collection of readings meditates on the nature of Christ’s sacrificial love and the triumph of Christ’s resurrection. It does so from a “mere Christianity” perspective that is both orthodox and ecumenical. Writers include C.S. Lewis, Soren Kierkegaard, Dorothy Day, and Sadhu Sundar Singh.  — Recommended by Dan Hummel

The Cross of Christ by John Stott (IVP, 2021)
This is not a devotional but a classic study of the atoning work of Christ by one of the great church leaders of the twentieth century. It has been a while since I read this seminal work, but I am eager to sit with it again. The book’s four sections are: approaching the cross; the heart of the cross; the achievement of the cross; and living under the cross. As Stott writes in chapter one, “There is no greater cleavage between faith and unbelief than in the respective attitudes of the cross. Where faith sees glory, unbelief sees disgrace.”  — Recommended by John Terrill

Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper (Crossway Books, 2006)
Author and pastor John Piper has gathered from the New Testament fifty answers to questions central to Christian faith: What did Christ achieve by his death? Why did he have to suffer so much? In this book, each short chapter outlines God’s purposes. For example, Reason #5 is “To show the Wealth of God’s Love and Grace for Sinners.” There are 49 other reasons offered, all leading to Calvary and deeper understanding.  — Recommended by Daniel Johnson

Hope and the Nearness of God: 2022 Lent Book by Teresa White, FCJ (Bloomsbury, 2021)
True confessions: I haven’t read this book yet. I just ordered it after discovering it on a favorite devotional site. In the introduction, Teresa White brings forward advice from Blaise Pascal—In difficult times, carry something beautiful in your heart. She suggests that in the midst of all the world’s traumas, the “something beautiful” might be a disciplined hope. This premise intrigues me. If you are likewise intrigued, perhaps this book will speak to you, too.  — Recommended by Susan Smetzer-Anderson

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
Written in the early 1400s, this classic devotional book remains fresh and relevant to those seeking to follow the way of Jesus. The book comes from the Modern Devotion, a movement that aimed to revitalize Christian life in the late Middle Ages through the study of scripture, prayer, and participation in the eucharist. The Imitation of Christ offers a bracing call to humility, self-denial, and compassion that should be balanced with other works that stress the active and communal sides of discipleship.  — Recommended by Eric Carlsson

Where the Eye Alights: Phrases for the Forty Days of Lent by Marilyn McEntyre (Eerdmans, 2021)
McEntyre offers 40 short meditations, including excerpts from Scripture and poetry. Leaning into the practice of lectio divina—reading Scripture repetitively and meditatively—McEntyre invites us to notice words that give us pause and summon us to reflection. This book offers a liturgical invitation “to make our times with self and God a little more spacious, a little more leisurely, and see what comes.”  — Recommended by Melissa Shackelford

Online Resources

2022 Lent Project by Biola University Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts

“The sacrificial season of Lent is a time for us to purposefully go deeper with Christ through reflection, action, and renewal… It’s a period of genuine repentance, of concentrated reconciliation with others, of fasting from all that distracts us, and recommitting our lives to Christ in love and service.” (Quote from website) This year the Lent Project engages the Psalms for daily meditation, combining poetry, music, and visual art. Every day you will receive a daily devotional in your inbox (from Ash Wednesday through Easter) if you subscribe here; you can also visit the website directly.  — Recommended by Kate Austin

Songs for Lent: An Upper House Playlist
Compiled by Rebecca Cooks, this playlist features 40 songs for 40 days. Follow themes of wandering, temptation, and surrender, as they give way to notes of being seen and sustained by God’s presence and word, to ultimately resonate with the freedom of God’s Kingdom Come.