Lent is fast approaching. Ash Wednesday is 16th February, after which we head towards Easter on 4th April.
In this season, Christians remind themselves of Christ’s journey through the wilderness. It’s often used as a period to grow our personal discipleship through self-discipline: giving something up, be it chocolate, binge-watching TV, or something else entirely, is all about travelling to that wilderness alongside Christ to clear the clutter and open our eyes to renewal.
It can also be a time of focus on social and environmental renewal: how can we be part of building God’s kingdom through our discipleship?
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite resources for Lent this year. It’s the perfect time to pick up a 40-day resource to help you get spiritually ready for Holy Week and Easter. Small group resources, preaching material, and reflections for individuals can be great tools for guiding us through the wilderness time.
We’ve particularly focused on climate justice and environment. Why not have a look through and see if there’s something perfect here to guide you through Lent?
From 2019-2020, the Joint Public Issues Team ran Living Lent. Living Lent challenged individuals to sign up to one of six different commitments for creation. These include giving up single-use plastics, shopping locally, and reducing electricity consumption by 10%. It invited participants to recognise that changing our climate is not just an activity, but a lifestyle, by offering theological reflections and community.
We’re not offering new content for Living Lent this year, but all of the resources from previous years are still live for you to explore here:
40 Acts – Stewardship
40 Acts is a community of over 100,000 people around the world who have decided to do Lent differently. They ask the question, “What if Lent was about more the just giving things up?”
Over 40 days, there are 40 challenges, which all encourage you to make a difference to the world and your community.
Lent Devotional – Tearfund
We all tell ourselves stories about who we are: as individuals, as communities and as the church. But there’s a bigger story – one that changes everything. It’s the story of God, and we’re invited to be a part of it. Join Tearfund to explore it with their Lent resources. Suitable for daily reflection for individuals, or you can encourage your small group or family to get together and look through them together.
Change Begins – All We Can
Change Begins is a daily resource which invites you to be a part of change that is happening all around the world. It’s for everyone – families and communities all around the globe, and it can also help your own personal reflections and journey with God.
You can download a copy of the daily devotional for free, and it can be used at home, in small groups, or with your whole church. (Spot JPIT’s contribution!)
40 Days with God’s Creatures – SARX
Available via a free app, this guide offers the chance to reflect theologically and creatively about animals and animal issues. This interactive, daily guide aims to take users on an explorative journey, including the use of biblical and theological readings, art, videos, music, photography and poetry.
The Poet’s Gospel – CTBI
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland bring you The Poet’s Gospel, ‘a Lent study for these unorthodox and strange times.’
This resource, suitable for personal reflection or small group study, takes readers through a verse version of the gospel written by John Alan Davis. There are sound files, written versions, and notes alongside.
Caring for Creation – York Courses
This is a new resource from York Courses for small groups, and is suitable for online and in-person meetings.
This resource focuses on environment and creation care, showing groups over six sessions a hope for future which is rooted in faith in God. The world faces a great threat from climate change. Faith in God should allow us to see what is actually happening, and what we can do about it.
Walking Towards Easter Together – URC
This resource seeks to develop a meaningful sense of community through reflections, activities, and challenges. There are justice challenges for each week designed with lockdown in mind, which could make a positive difference in your neighbourhood.
These resource aim to reduce feelings of isolation in communities, and offer hope to congregations and individuals during this season of Lent.
How Does Change Happen?
How Does Change Happen? is a new small group resource launched by the Joint Public Issues Team. If you’ve ever found yourself wanting to make a change, but feel like you don’t know enough to try, this is the small group resource for you.
Over six sessions, equally effective online and in-person, you’ll be taken through the how, the when, the where and the what of making change.
Connect Groups – Sanctuary
Sanctuary have produced a new resource designed to be flexible, with a mix of prompts, questions and meditations which can be used individually or in a small group.
The February booklet covers the theme of ‘The Parable of Social Distancing’, and March covers ‘Man of Sorrows, People of Hope.’ These booklets have material to help you prepare for Lent and then travel through the season, culminating in Holy Saturday.