We asked ELCA Resource Center directors to pull together a Q&A on: What devotional resources would you recommend for individual or small-group use during Lent?
An excellent devotional for individual or small-group use with the simplest format is “40 Days and 40 Nights” by Gail Ramshaw. “Book of Faith Lenten Journey: 40 Days with the Lord’s Prayer” has received numerous positive comments. Similar in format and tends to generate a lot of discussion in small group settings is: “40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer” by Ron Klug. “Windows into the Light: A Lenten Journey of Stories and Art” by Michael Sullivan is ideal for a small groups meeting on a weekly basis and willing to use a variety of media as a part of the reflective process.
— Karen Kaufman
In the “Book of Faith” collection, we have published a “Lenten Journey” for each of the past several years. This year’s, “Lenten Journey: Beyond Question,” is by Eric Burtness. And he has set up a Facebook “community” page to support it. You can search for it on Facebook as “Beyond Question.” Eric will also be teaching a continuing-education class at Luther Seminary in January to explore how to use this resource in congregations. The course is open to anyone interested in this topic. Last year, “Making Sense of the Cross” was a tremendous success as a Lenten resource, and we expect many additional congregations to select it for this Lenten season, too.
— Beth Lewis
A favorite of mine is “Bible Stories for the 40 Days,” 40 stories of our biblical ancestors by Melissa Musick Nussbaum. Meant to be used with Peter Mazar’s “Forty days and Forty Nights: A Lenten Ark,” this pop-up Lenten calendar provides a visual experience of the journey to Easter. These two resources could be a meaningful way for Old and New Testament characters to lead readers through the 40 days of Lent.
Other “40 Day” titles include: “40 Days with the Lord’s Prayer,” “Marks of the Christian,” the “40-Day Journey” series has books with Parker Palmer, Joan Chittister, Julian of Norwich, Madeleine L’Engle, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and more. These are great for congregational use, small groups or individual reuse.
Martha Grace Reese’s “Unbinding Your Heart: 40 Days of Prayer and Faith Sharing” is meant for all-church study and individual journaling. It’s part of the “Unbinding Gospel Series” for congregational transformation.
For those who consider Holden Evening Prayer synonymous with Lent, take a look at “Holden Prayer Around the Cross,” a set of resources adapted from “Holden Evening Payer and Prayer Around the Cross” by Susan Briehl, Marty Haugen and Tom Witt.
— Julie Aageson