The Book of Common Prayer , reminds us that the season of Lent is a time of penitence, fasting, and prayer, in preparation for the great feast of the resurrection. The season of Lent began in the early days of the Church as a time of preparation for those seeking to be baptized. The forty days refer to our Lord’s time of fasting in the wilderness and the season invites us to prepare ourselves through the journey of these forty days, by hearing and answering our Savior’s call to repent, so that we may enter fully into the joyful celebration of his resurrection.
In this Lenten edition of our newsletter, you will find a number of resources to assist you in your Lenten journey.
I encourage you to daily read your bible and pray the morning prayer office of the church. The Book of Common Prayer  will assist you to do this, as will the new Book of Common Prayer  International Edition which the diocese used in our online service of Commination on the First Day of Lent [information in the newsletter].
In addition, I encourage you to make Lent less cluttered than usual, quieter than usual and engage in the discipline of regular fasting. The Communications Department of the Diocese will release a 25 minute devotional bible study every Thursday during Lent. In this series, we focus on the ‘beatitudes’ from Luke’s gospel chapter 6.
During Lent, I often re-read John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress. This year, I am listening to the work in 17th century original language as an audio book. As the character Christian leaves his non-Christian world behind him, he runs from it. He is seen by his wife and children, who run after him calling for him to return. Christian does not look back, puts his fingers in his ears to keep from hearing the pitiful wails of his family, and runs on crying: "Life! Life! Eternal Life!" Perhaps you might listen or read this book with me this Lent?
I also often re-read Andrew Murray’s book, “Humility: the beauty of holiness.” This book is a gem from the works of this eighteenth century teacher of holiness. I commend it to you.
Some additional Lenten reading for your consideration:
Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1-8. By: J.V. Fesko
Nailed It: 365 Readings for Angry or Worn-Out People. By: Anne Kennedy
Providence: Author John Piper draws on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry to lead readers on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence—from Genesis to Revelation—to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history.
Peter Akinola: Who Blinks First? Twice recognized by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People” on earth. As shepherd of an immense Nigerian flock, Archbishop Peter Akinola joined arms with like-minded archbishops in Africa, Asia, and South America to insist that the church be guided by the Bible rather than culture.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent: by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and alms-giving; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.