Lenten Reading and Reflecting: Lament and Liberation
January 27, 2021
If you plan to follow a daily or weekly course of reflection or study, now is the time to download or place your order for materials.
As Lent approaches, your clergy and staff want to offer two suggestions for how to reflect this season: lament or liberation.
Naming our Losses
It has been a full year since the COVID-19 pandemic was identified in the United States. During Lent this year we will observe one year since St. Martin’s made major shifts in how we worship and approach ministry together. It is a good time to reflect on how we have cared for our lament, and how we move forward through it. Therefore we recommend:
Lenten Meditations 2021 from Episcopal Relief & Development
As Lent approaches this year, we lament.
We lament all those whose lives were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hearts break for all of the people who are no longer with us. We also lament other losses that include jobs and livelihoods, the opportunity to travel to visit loved ones and the ability to worship together in our church buildings. So much was lost, with little or no time to lament that which was lost. Because of the magnitude of these collective losses, we decided to focus on lament as the theme for the 2021 Lenten Meditations.
For the Spanish version or to receive the meditations as daily emails, click here.
Listening to Liberation
The shifts we experienced this past year were not just due to physical health, but also the soul of the country and its need for healing of racial divides. The cry has gone up for centuries, but the pandemic helped raise the cry to the forefront once again. Our second Lenten study helps us continue to listen and to move forward empowered to make change. We recommend:
This Lenten devotional invites readers to learn more about the brutal institution of slavery and its impact on Black people in America and recognize how its evolution and legacy continue to harm their descendants in the United States today. Each of the forty devotions includes the testimony of a person who escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad, a Scripture passage, and a reflection connecting biblical and historical themes to challenge modern readers to work for liberation. Reflecting on Lenten themes of exodus, redemption, discipline, and repentance, readers, both Black and white, will be empowered for the work of racial justice.
We have ordered five copies which will be available in two weeks. If you are interested, you may stop by the parish house to purchase one for $14. Click here to order from the publisher. You may also try your favorite local bookstore, like Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books or Harriett's Bookshop.
If you're looking for daily scripture, prayer, and reflections from voices around the church, you can always turn to Forward Day by Day. We always have a supply of these booklets, which are pocket-sized and are released quarterly.
Forward Day by Day
Forward Day by Day is a booklet of daily inspirational meditations reflecting on a specific Bible passage, chosen from the daily lectionary readings as listed in the Revised Common Lectionary or the Daily Office from the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer. The meditations are rich in substance and offer a wide range of witness and experiences. Each month’s meditation is written by a different author.
Pocket-sized copies of Forward Day by Day booklets (which cover three months each) are available in the Parish House lobby. You may also find daily reflections on their website or sign up to listen on their podcast.