Are you thinking of adding something new to your daily life this Lent?
Lent is a wonderful season to begin a new faith practice; the practice of reading an entire book of the bible, day-by-day, is one members of your church might like to participate in.
This year, if your congregation follows the lectionary, the Gospel of Mark will be featured most weeks of our year. Journeying through this very readable gospel as a individual or a congregation early in the season offers all ages the opportunity to hear this gospel first as a complete story before they return to its individual texts through the year in worship, study and Sunday school.
To help everyone with this faith practice, here is a free, downloadable devotional booklet for individual or churches to use this Lent.
Lent is one of the most special seasons of the church year. It follows the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany during which we anticipated and prepared for the birth of Jesus and welcomed him as God come to earth to be with us. In the season of Lent we travel with Jesus through his adult life as he teaches and reveals to us who God is and how much God loves us. As we will travel with the Jesus through the final days of his life on earth, his final teachings to his followers, his arrest, trial and crucifixion we will discover all that Jesus has done for us.
With this booklet participants will be invited to either read a scripture each day of the week, or young families will be invited to read approximately three bible stories from either the Spark Story Bible published by Sparkhouse or The Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible edited by Elizabeth F. Caldwell and Carol H. Wehrheim. With each week there is also a weekly theme overview, a daily opening prayer, and a page with prompting questions to guide participants to journal or colour their responses to the stories they read. At the front of the booklet there are instructions for making a Lenten garden with a covered tomb and paper whites. Beginning the garden in the first week of Lent promises a garden of flowers on Easter morning.
Please feel free to use the devotion booklet in your family, or photocopy it and distribute it to your congregation for everyone to use over the season of Lent and Easter.
When you open the file it will look jumbled up. This is because the file has been saved as a document ready for you to print out and fold in half to create a 5 1/2″ X 8 1/2″ booklet. If you are printing one copy out for yourself, set your printer to double-side, short-edge binding. If you are printing out a master set to photocopy and assemble in multiples, then print out each page single-sided and feed through your photocopier to become double-sided with the short-edge binding. Fold the pages into a booklet and you will be ready for Lent which begins on February 17, 2021.
Please note that this journey through the Gospel of Mark was offered also in 2020 for the season of Lent. It has been updated for 2021 and re-released because the Gospel of Mark is the primary gospel for Year B in the lectionary. If you used the 2020 version with your congregation you may wish to use the interactive Lent Gardens found in earlier articles, or another devotional resource this year.