The season of Lent has become encrusted with confusing barnacles of self-flagellation assuming we need to deny ourselves something to appease a God slightly ticked-off because of our less-than-holy living the rest of the year. The craziness of Fat Tuesday doesn’t help. We move through Lent toward Good Friday where we celebrate God’s initiative to provide salvation through the cross of Christ, always anticipating the good news of the bodily resurrection of Jesus, declaring there is nothing we can do to earn God’s favor. Giving up chocolate or red wine may be helpful in some ways, such as the beginning of some sort of spiritual discipline, but not to gain one inch toward salvation.
The big story of God is contained in the Scriptures, and a simple, but intentional reading of relevant texts that walk us toward the cross is a good use of time during Lent. By the way, Lent means Spring, so let’s celebrate the new life Spring brings by immersing ourselves in the big story of cross and resurrection.
Here are my selections for Scripture reading during Week 1 [February 10-14, 2016], and I thank my friend Kerry Olson for choosing the inspiring quotes along the way. Come back each week for more selections.