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
Confession: having spent most of my life worshiping with what I would describe as “low-church Baptists,” I am still very much a novice when it comes to the Christian practice of Lent. Nevertheless, I want to learn; I want to experience this ancient tradition that goes back all the way to the second century AD. I understand that Lent is a 40-day (46 days if counting Sundays) “preparation” for the remembrance and celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, known as Easter in the West and Pascha in the East. But what does such a preparation look like? What is the purpose of Lent?
Archie Smith has described the purpose of Lent like this:
When it is true to its purpose, Lent will move us closer to being the suffering and resurrected body of Christ in the world. We will find hope in being faithful and strength in being honest. We will be made wiser by our discernment and confession, poised to struggle for wider justice, and enabled to dig deeper wells for the expression of compassion. “Then,” the prophet says, “your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly.”
I’ve clumsily attempted to observe Lent in the past, but I’ve not been overly successful. Fortunately, there are two new collections of Lenten readings for the Accordance Bible Software Library to help me this year. Hopefully these titles will be of benefit to you, too, regardless of whether you have been observing Lent for many years or if you are still learning like me!
We are pleased to announce the release of Chuck DeGroat’s Falling into Goodness: Lenten Reflections and N. T. Wright’s Lent for Everyone. Both of these titles are similar in their approach as they both contain a Scripture reading, devotional thought, and a prayer and/or reflection point. More importantly, both titles are compatible with Accordance’s Daily Reading feature, whether you are reading them in Accordance 12 for Windows and Macintosh or Accordance Mobile on your iOS device.
Click/tap the image above for a larger view of DeGroat's Falling into Goodness.
DeGroat’s Falling into Goodness takes its title from John 12:24, which speaks of a grain of wheat falling to the earth to die, only to return bearing much fruit--something that God can use for much good. This is a metaphor for how God wants to use us, and Lent can be that preparation time for God’s good purpose in our lives.
Falling into Goodness (Chuck DeGroat)
Regular Price $9.90
See the review by Wesley Allen.
Wright’s Lent for Everyone is actually a three-volume work that uses the readings of the three-year lectionary cycle (we are currently in Year A). Anyone already familiar with any of Wright’s other For Everyone titles will know what to expect in these volumes.
Click/tap the image above for a larger view of Wright's Lent for Everyone.
Neither of these titles should be mistaken for “light” devotional thoughts. Rather, both DeGroat and Wright will challenge us and sometimes bluntly confront our assumptions of what it truly means to be a disciple. Whether Lent has been with you for many seasons, or whether you are still a novice like me, consider using either or both of these Lenten tools to challenge and deepen your faith journey.
Lent For Everyone (N. T. Wright)
List Price $48.00
Regular Price $29.90
Lenten cross photo courtesy of Pixabay.com