Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Perhaps you celebrate Lent each year or perhaps you never have and are curious about it.
Lent is the 40 days before Easter-the season on the church calendar for repentance, mourning, and feasting and celebration. Lent is not observed in many evangelical Protestant churches, but it is picking up momentum. I love observing Lent because it gives me space to contemplate my sin and open myself for the Spirit to reveal places in my heart where I need to repent. It gives me space to mourn my own sins and the sins of the world and prepares my heart for Easter-the hope that erases the things over which I am mourning.
When I was little, growing up in the Protestant wing of the Air Force chapel (which is a hodge podge of denominations), I thought Lent was about giving something up for 40 days. I thought it was a time to show God that "I am holy" or just to show I could be disciplined for 40 days. I failed every.time. Deep in my little heart, I feared God was disappointed in me, so I didn't like Lent.
Now that I understand the gospel, Lent has took on a beautiful new meaning. It is not about legalism or religiosity, but a time to connect with God and prepare my heart for the Resurrection.
I compiled a list for you of my favorite Lent and Easter resources-for personal devotion and also for kids if you have children. If you are a subscriber, you will receive a PDF copy of the list with clickable links. If you are not a subscriber and would like to be, you can sign up here.
I would like to draw special attention to the devotional I will be doing this Lent-Erin Moon's Oh Heavy Lightness. Erin is a perfect mix of humor and love for Jesus. I appreciate her thoughtful Instagram posts and I'm excited to dive into her devotional.
What’s the Deal With Lent by Aaron Damiani at Christianity Today
Evangelicals Embracing (and Rejecting) Lent by Trevin Wax at the Gospel Coalition
All About Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Easter
Evidence of the Resurrection by Josh McDowell– an apologetic for the Resurrection
Oh Heavy Lightness: A Guide For Lent and Holy Week by Erin Moon.
Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter
This book is a compilation of devotionals about Lent and Easter by classic and contemporary writers such as Martin Luther, Tim Keller, Charles Spurgeon, and J.I. Packer. This is my favorite Lent devotional!
Bride and Wine: readings for Lent and Easter by C.S Lewis and G.K. Chesterton
Writings by two classic favorites.
Resurrection Eggs from Family Life
My kids LOVE these and look forward to it more than their Easter baskets. This is a set of 12 eggs. Each egg contains an object referring to the Easter story. It’s a fun, interactive way to teach kids about Jesus’ death and resurrection and the week leading up to the greatest miracle ever known.
You can also Make Your Own resurrection eggs. Perhaps with Lego mini figures for older kids?
Here is a condensed version of the eggs for younger toddlers.
Jesus Storybook Bible Lent Reading Plan
We love the Jesus Storybook Bible in our family! Here is a great reading guide for Easter. This is from 2017, but if you visit the site, you can get one for 2019.
A Sense of the Resurrection
This is a fun, interactive way to teach kids about Easter through their 5 senses-includes guide for activities and crafts.
40 Days of Jesus’ Words for Lent
40 Days of Lent Activities
I hope this list is helpful! I would love to hear from you if you try any of these and what you think of the resource.
Tomorrow I will post a prayer I wrote for you to experience Jesus this Lenten season.