Ash Wednesday is only four weeks away. I know if feels like we just got through Christmas, but, trust me, Lent will be here before you know it, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a companion to guide you through the desert, especially when getting to church these days is difficult if not impossible due to COVID? I have just the thing for you. My latest book of Scripture reflections, Not By Bread Alone 2021: Daily Reflections for Lent.
You can get this book in the standard pocket-sized version for only $1.99. If you buy 50 or more — for, say, a parish, a group, or a really big family — the price drops to 99 cents a copy. What a deal! It’s perfect for carrying in a purse or a pocket. Easy to take with you so you don’t miss a day. You can also get a large-print version for only $5.95, which is really nice if you prefer to keep this in your personal prayer space or on a nightstand and like a book with a little more heft. You can get the e-book for only 99 cents, if digital is more your speed. And you can get any of those variations in Spanish. Something for everyone. (Order soon so there are no issues with potential shipping delays, as has been common during COVID.)
This is my fifth book of seasonal Scripture reflections for Liturgical Press. I want to thank all those who have journeyed through past Advent, Lent and Easter seasons with me. I hear from so many of you, and I am so grateful for your emails, letters, comments, and observations.
If you go to the Liturgical Press website, you can get a taste of what’s inside this year’s book. They have the introduction and the first two reflections posted HERE.
Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:
“It’s easy to think, as we begin yet another Lenten journey, that we know the drill. We’ve been here before; we know what’s coming. But the truth is that Scripture is a living thing, always new. I know this firsthand because every time I sit down to write a Lenten reflection about a Scripture passage I’ve heard or read too many times to count, something jumps out at me and makes me say, ‘How did I not notice that before?’ We hear every Scripture reading differently depending on where we are on our life journey, our spiritual journey, or maybe just what side of the bed we woke up on that day. God meets us where we are, and, if we’re paying attention, we can hear God, see God, recognize God in unlikely places, in stories we think we know. When we take time to listen for the still small voice, a scene, a sentence, a word calls out to us as if surrounded by blinking neon lights along a dark
highway, and we are found, even if only for a few minutes…
“…To be honest, there were many days when I sat down with a set of Scripture readings and could not imagine what I might have to say that could be helpful to you. But, after sitting with the Scriptures, reading and rereading, taking them for a walk, sharing a cup of coffee with them as the sun rose outside my window, something always found its way off the page and into my heart, like a delicate shoot pushing through the cold, hard earth of winter into the warmth and light of spring.”
If you begin this journey with me on Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 17, we will be awaiting the delicate green shoots of spring by the time we wrap up on Easter Sunday, April 4. For some — like my family and friends in my old stomping grounds in Austin, Texas — spring will be pushing toward summer at that point. For those of us in the northeast, snow could still be on the ground. Regardless of geographic location, however, we will all have traversed the desert of Lent and Holy Week to emerge into the lush landscape of Easter and resurrection. I would be so grateful if you’d let me walk with you.