For many of us, Lent is something new and confusing at best, or scary at worst. Here is a list of helpful and beautiful resources meant to aid us on our Lenten journey with Jesus.
Fr. Trevor McMaken is a pastor at another one of our sister churches, City of Light. He recently recorded a podcast on an introduction to Lent, explaining what it is, where it comes from, and how we can meaningfully and practically engage in the season.
Download this Lenten Household Worship Guide put together by City of Light. It has tips on how to incorporate rhythms of prayer and fasting into our everyday life. Here is a blog post on fasting from our Bishop, Stewart Ruch.
The Good of Giving Up is an introduction to Lent for people who have never practiced it before, written by our very own Fr. Aaron Damiani. The Great Lent is a book by the late Orthodox theologian, Alexander Schmemann, and is perfect if you are looking to take a deeper dive.
Lenten Art Series
As a church, one of our values is being engaged in the arts and culture. We value the unique way in which art can communicate truth and beauty. Over the next five weeks, we will present original artwork based on the lectionary Gospel passages for each Sunday, created by artists from Christ Church Madison. Each piece will begin its life as the front cover of our Sunday bulletins.
by Daniel Lipford, graphic illustration. Lk. 4: 1-13.
From the Artist: Jesus is led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. The illustration of a hand with fingers in different positions represents temptation as the potential for sin. Lines represent the desert, the wrinkles of a hand, and also the interference of plans with each other like waves overlapping and changing shape.
People Will Come
by Gwen Belcher, colored pencil on paper. Lk 13:22-35.
From the Artist: In our Gospel reading it says "people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God." Contemplating the invitation to the table and the sobering thought that not everyone will "enter through the narrow door" or be willing to be gathered as a hen gathers her brood, I imagined people coming from all directions with varying postures toward the Table of the Lord. Some figures appear poised to walk right past one another unaware of the reality of their surroundings, while others embrace the table.
by Randal Birkey, pencil and sharpie on white tracing paper. Lk. 8:26-39.
From the Artist: As I read and studied this Gospel passage, this image emerged as I allowed its truth to sink in... that Jesus bore my own struggle with darkness as he did the Madman's bondage to darkness, all the way to the cross. Although I still struggle, I have also experienced substantial healing and freedom from some very dark times in my life... for which I am grateful to the Lord.
by Chandra Wanta, collage. Lk 13:1-9
From the Artist: Repent or Perish. The longer I sat with this passage the more I began thinking about repenting, asking myself, is it really that easy? It got me thinking about the things that prevent me from heading straight to repentance - a smothering of lies, shame, and self hatred, or, my pathetic ego barricaded by pride. In this lonely space I find myself feeling hollow, a feeling I am haunted by often. I must release my grip on darkness and the affection it has for me. I must humbly repent, so that I will bear fruit.
by Jonny Hoffner, photograph. Luke 20:9-18
From the Artist: There are leaps of faith. And there are leaps that are departures from what is solid and founded, toward an end that is unto oneself. Sometimes faith requires action and other times it requires stillness, patience. To sit in discomfort and patiently await His promises, when it is so enticing to enact some sense of self-agency, requires acceptance of this new reality; that the stone that has been rejected is the Cornerstone. And it will provide rest and refuge for those who hold fast, sit tight and surrender to the One true identity, shedding all others. We all surrender to something whether or not we realize it, so may we surrender to the Stone that has been rejected and have the discernment to know when to leap and when to rest.