Your gift eBook from the Holy Cross – READINGS & DEVOTIONS FOR LENT
How to Use This Book
This book is a devotional guide for the season of Lent. Each day consists of Scripture readings, meditations, reflection questions, and prayers—all aimed toward directing your heart to God and deepening your understanding of the events that led to Easter. Each week of the devotional is focused on a different theme: repentance, humility, suffering, lament, sacrifice, and death. Although not exclusive to Lent, these themes capture the content and tone of the season. They point us to Jesus, and to put it simply: Lent is about Jesus. Our aim is to reflect meaningfully on his journey to the cross, so that we might take up our cross and follow him. The themes are built out as you go through the week, and every day will follow a distinct pattern …
Call to Worship
Worship starts with God. He calls us into his presence, and we respond by coming before him in faith. Each day in this guide begins with a Call to Worship, which is generally a Scripture reading or Psalm that directs our focus to God as the initiator of our salvation and our Covenant Lord. Our Lenten journey must begin and end with God.
As we consider the greatness of a holy God and experience his presence in our lives, we are mindful of our sin and idolatry. God does not turn us away, but invites us to confess our sins and be cleansed. This is a normal rhythm of worship, but during Lent we have a heightened sense of desperation in this regard. Use these moments each day, not merely reciting lines on a page, but as a way to walk humbly before God and deepen your desire to live in the light with him.
This section of the guide is made up of three things: 1) GOSPEL READINGS follow the narrative of Jesus’ own journey to the cross from the gospel according to Mark. 2) DEVOTIONAL thoughts touch on some aspect of that week’s theme. Engage these sections with a spirit of submissiveness to God’s Word and openness to his grace. 3) REFLECTION questions relate to the devotional. Use these to press the truths of the gospel deeper into your heart and wider into your life. How is God speaking to you, and how do you want to respond?
Using the words from various liturgical resources, these prayers close each day as an added way to commune with God and express your desire to be transformed by his Spirit.
A word about Sundays: Sundays in Lent are intended as a foretaste of Easter Sunday — they are “mini-Easters.” This guide includes professions (statements) of faith in Christ and hymns about his resurrection on each Sunday in order to allow you to rest, reflect, and rejoice. When Sunday comes each week, feast on these great truths with much joy and celebration in your heart.
A word about fasting: Traditionally, Lent is a time when we fast, or give things up. When we deny ourselves familiar comforts, we learn something powerful about our weaknesses, our needs, and our deepest longing for God. Fasting is a tangible, physical activity that points to our spiritual longing to be rooted in Jesus alone and find our true comfort and joy in him. Consider how you might meaningfully engage in the discipline of fasting this Lenten season as a supplement to this guide.
Lastly, a pastoral encouragement: Our God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Eph. 3:20). Give yourself to Him this Lenten season through meditation, preparation, and repentance. Your reward will be the same as that of Jesus: the overwhelming joy of Easter resurrection.
May you be renewed in your love and affection for him!