Our Lenten Journey: A Community Reading Suggestion
The Lenten Season recalls at least two important journeys in the Bible. The first is the forty years of desert wandering endured by the people of Israel. They had escaped slavery in Egypt, but they were not yet a people. Those forty years prepared them to enter God’s promised land as people of the Covenant.
The second desert journey was that of Jesus, who endured forty days of hunger, thirst, and temptation before launching his ministry. These were liminal experience. Both the children of Israel were in preparation for something new and challenging—going from one thing to another. They were being formed, indeed, transformed by the desert. And so, we enter Lent, our own desert time, to be transformed. To confront the ways in which we need to be renewed and set free. And, like the children of Israel and Jesus, we will meet both God and temptations in the desert!
This Lent, to help all of us own our journey, we are inviting the church to read a book together: River Through the Desert: A Lenten Journey in the Holy Land by Dean Richard Sewell of St. George’s College in Jerusalem. Each week will begin with a brief reflection on that week’s chapter in the Saint Mark’s Connector.
You will be invited to read the chapter and engage in some of the spiritual practices recommended. There may also be ways that we can gather for further conversations. Watch this space! The book is brief, but beautifully done. It will be available to order through the bookshop, which will also have some copies on hand. We hope that many of you will join us on the journey!