Every year I enjoy picking out what I will be reading through the Lenten season. Both Advent and Lent are important rhythms in my year that assist me in celebrating Christmas and Easter to their fullest extent. Although my church does not particularly follow the church calendar, I do in my personal devotion.
This year I purchased a book I’d been eyeing for a long time. It’s called Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter. It’s a compilation of short readings by many different authors, some I recognize like C. S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, or Madeleine L’Engle and others I’m not familiar with. The book is organized by theme: Invitation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection to name a few. It is not organized by day so you could read straight through or simply pick chapters that interest you and skip around. Most chapters are short, averaging three to five pages. I read a little bit each morning as part of my morning routine. I’m finding myself highlighting a lot of thought-provoking writing and I’m really glad am reading this book.
Some other books I’ve appreciated and learned from in years past are Reliving the Passion by Walter Wangerin, Jr. This book is written in vivid prose and organized in a day-to-day reading plan. Another book is Between Midnight and Dawn: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide by Sarah Arthur. Arthur edits very unique meditations mainly drawn from literature, and not all of it sacred. Not everyone will appreciate this style. It isn’t specifically day-by-day but is more loosely organized by week. The readings will include a mix of scripture, poetry, and prose.
A few other resources I’ve used are She Reads Truth and Pray As You Go. Both have digital resources through the use of apps. She Reads Truth also sells printed resources like reading plans but if you don’t want to go that route for a very small fee you can purchase plans through their app and read them on your phone or ipad. Pray As You Go is one of my favorite apps ever and is a mix of music, scripture, and meditation. I can’t recommend it enough. I rarely use it alone but pair it with other scripture readings or books.