This Wednesday—Ash Wednesday on the Christian calendar—marks the beginning of the annual forty days known as Lent for Roman Catholics and Protestant observers of the season. Eastern churches begin the observation of Great Lent five days later.
What is Lent? According to the Feasting on the Word Lenten Companion, being released for Accordance today,
“Lent is a time of self-reflection and penitence, a time to acknowledge our sinfulness and need for God’s mercy. From the church’s earliest days, Lent was a time of preparation for baptism of new converts and penitence leading to the reconciliation of those estranged from the community” (Overview of Lent).
One of the many practices associated with Lent involves daily Scripture readings and reflective devotions. Last year, we released two titles for Lenten reflection that could be integrated with our Daily Reading/Devotional view in Accordance. This year, we’re releasing five new titles in time for Lent, four of which can be used with our Daily Reading/Devotional view.
In Accordance 12 for Windows or Macintosh, you can select your preferred Daily Reading by going to Preferences: Reading/Research. If you select a devotional related to Lent from the Daily Reading section, beginning on Wednesday, click on the Daily Reading icon in the toolbar to open up your devotional to the appropriate reading for the day on the left and any related Scripture passages on the right.
In Accordance Mobile for iOS, if you open your Lenten reading from the Devotionals section in the Library, Accordance will open your reading in a similar split-pane view to that described above. Accordance Mobile for Android does not yet feature a Devotional view, but these titles can still be accessed from the General Tools folder.
Consider integrating Accordance in your observance of Lent this year through any of our affordable titles available for your reflection of this season.
Special sale prices on the products featured below cannot be combined with other discounts. The sale on products in this special offer will end on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST.
Based on the Revised Common Lectionary, the Feasting on the Word Worship Companion series provides liturgical pieces used in preparing for worship, offering a multitude of poetic prayers and responsive readings for all parts of worship. In addition, the weekly entries include questions for reflection and household prayers for morning and evening that are drawn from the lectionary, allowing churches to include them in their bulletin for parishioners to use throughout the week.
Regular Price $139
This volume in the Feasting on the Word series serves as an all-in-one pastor's companion for Lent and Holy Week, providing worship materials and sermon preparation tools for both lectionary and non-lectionary preachers. Hymn suggestions, midweek services, and children's sermon suggestions make this an invaluable resource for the season of Lent.
Regular Price $17.90
Together, Craig A. Evans and N. T. Wright concisely and compellingly convey the drama and the world-shattering significance of Jesus' final days on earth. A helpful guide to Jesus' death, burial and resurrection with insightful reflections for Lent. [Note: this title is perfect for Lenten study and reflective reading but does not integrate with the Daily Reading/Devotional view in Accordance.]
Regular Price $12.90
Forty-seven stirring devotions by Bonhoeffer will guide and inspire readers as they move thematically through the weeks of Lent and Easter, encountering themes of prayerful reflection, self-denial, temptation, suffering, and the meaning of the cross.
Regular Price $9.90
Walter Brueggemann's thought-provoking reflections for the season of Lent invite us to consider the challenging, beautiful life that comes with walking the way of grace.
Regular Price $9.90
Written by Bruce Reyes-Chow, these forty devotions are each framed around a word inspired by the daily lectionary readings and include a short scriptural passage, inspirational prayer, and reflection.
Regular Price $9.90
Note: A version of this post previously appeared on SermonCentral's website.
SermonCentral and Accordance Bible Software make a great sermon prep and preaching combination. Sermons and other content from SermonCentral can be imported into Accordance User Tools and User Notes for sermon prep, live preaching, or archived for later reference.
Now through March 26, we're giving away a PRO subscription and digital library from Accordance Bible Software to six winners!
Importing SermonCentral Content into an Accordance UserTool
In the example below, note the hierarchical table of contents that follows the outline of the sermon. All Scripture in a User Tool can be automatically hyperlinked.
- Find a sermon at SermonCentral.com and click the link to view the sermon on a single page (PRO feature).
- Select the text and copy it to your clipboard.
- In Accordance 11 for Windows or Mac, go to File: User Files: New User Tool.
- Give your User Tool a title.
- Then open the editing mode with the keyboard command Ctrl-U (Win) or Cmd-U (Mac).
- Paste your text into the editing window and touch up any formatting issues that need adjusting.
- Click on the Auto Link button ( ) to convert all Scripture references to to hyperlinks.
- Select the title of the sermon and click on the Link button ( ) to create a hyperlink back to the SermonCentral webpage where the sermon originated.
- Create a hierarchical table of contents by clicking left of any headings in the narrow gray margin on the left of the User Tool.
- Use the Alt (Win) or Option (Mac) key when clicking to create submenus.
When your User Tool is formatted to your liking, click the Update button at the bottom right of the editing window, and your User Tool is ready to go. It is fully searchable and integrated into the rest of Accordance. This entire process should only take 5 to 10 minutes. If you want to make changes to the sermon User Tool later, simply go into edit mode again.
There is only one Scripture reference near the top in this screenshot, but all of them throughout the sermon are hyperlinked. The hyperlinked “SermonCentral.com” points to the original sermon on the website as can be seen in the Instant Details at the bottom of the screen.
Over on the left side, I entered the basic outline of the sermon in the User notes. User notes are great for reminders of more detailed content elsewhere in Accordance, or you may want to preach directly from the outline in the User Note. The hyperlinked title at the top of the note points to the User Tool that I created. So, if I had only the biblical text and User Notes open, I could click on that link, and it would open my User Tool that contained the sermon.
Take Your Sermon with You with Accordance Mobile
In this screenshot from my iPad Pro, the entire sermon has been dropped into the User Note allowing anyone to preach from an outline or the entire sermon. All links described in the previous example apply here in iOS, too.
File Ideas for Later
Here, User Notes are used to list messages from SermonCentral based on a particular passage. As shown in the Instant Details, the titles are hyperlinked to the original sermon on the SermonCentral website.
- Keep multiple sermons or sermon series in the same User Tool, adding to them as needed.
- Export jpeg or png files of individual PowerPoint or Keynote slides from your sermon and incorporate them into your User Tool at the point in the sermon in which they would be displayed.
- Utilize User Notes for quick outlines of a sermon, linking back back to the full sermon in your User Tool.
Have ideas of your own? Let us know about them in the comments section!
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SermonCentral PRO offers unparalleled access to video illustrations, PowerPoint slides, and more, worth $26,000. The Accordance Essential Collection provides entry-level professional resources for the pastor, professor, or Bible study leader, valued at $6,000 in print.
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Together, these powerful resources give you everything you need to prepare, preach, and present your Easter sermon.
Of all the articles I planned to write for the Bible Times PhotoMuseum, I figured the article on Crucifixion would be relatively easy. After all, I already had a pretty good idea of who invented the practice (the Romans), how crucifixion was practiced (nails through hands and feet, fully assembled crosses raised to position, etc.), and how it caused death (by asphyxiation as the crucified became too tired to lift himself up to breathe). When I started doing my research, however, I was shocked to discover how little we actually know about crucifixion.
First, I was surprised at the scarcity of evidence for crucifixion. Though crucifixion was widely practiced in the Roman world, ancient writers appear to have seen it as distasteful to discuss in detail. Even the authors of the Christian Gospels, who regarded the crucifixion of Jesus as a pivotal event, offer almost no details about the crucifixion itself. They simply read, "they crucified him" (Matt 27:38; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:33; John 19:18). Even a detail as important as that Jesus was nailed to the cross is omitted, except for the fact that the scars from the nails are mentioned later (John 20:25).
Not only are there few literary descriptions of the practice of crucifixion, there is a shocking lack of archaeological evidence for it. To date, only one set of remains has been discovered which clearly belonged to someone who was crucified. Discovered in a tomb outside Jerusalem in 1968, the remains of a first-century man featured a heel bone with an iron nail driven through it. Such nails were usually pulled out and re-used, but this nail could not be removed because it had become bent.
Even though we now have one crucified skeleton, the question of exactly how that man was nailed to a cross is debated among scholars. Some say he was nailed through the wrists and his legs were twisted so that a single nail was driven through both heels. Others say his arms were tied to the cross and each heel was nailed to opposite sides of the upright beam. The PhotoMuseum article lets you see both reconstructions.
Also debated among scholars is what exactly caused the death of someone who was crucified. Most people have heard that victims of crucifixion died of asphyxiation, but this theory was only proposed in the 1950s and is based on limited evidence. More recently, a forensic pathologist has concluded that crucified people likely died of a very different cause.
So forget what you think you know about crucifixion. Much of what you've heard is less certain than you've been led to believe. If you want to learn what we do know for sure, check out the article on Crucifixion in the PhotoMuseum. There you'll learn that for all the questions surrounding the practice of crucifixion, the ancients who witnessed it were certain of one thing: it was "the most lamentable of deaths" (Josephus).