Liturgical seasons can act as guideposts through the year and Lent is a particularly special one. It’s easy to get caught up in the “sackcloth and ashes” part of Lent, with all the self-denial and focus on our own sin. This is important to remember, but not to be ruled by. Consider the outward focus of Isaiah 58: 6-9, a passage often used in the Ash Wednesday liturgy…
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
Bread and Wine – collected readings and reflections for Lent and Easter from Buechner, Nouwen, Lewis, and Bonhoeffer, to name a few.
The Living Cross: Exploring God’s Gift of Forgiveness and New Life by Amy Boucher Pye
The Passion of the Christ
Biola University’s Lent Project