Ash Wednesday February 17 – Holy Saturday, April 3
Ruth Haley Barton writes: “The seasons of the Church calendar are meant to teach us about the spiritual life, and walking closely with Jesus and learning from him as we go. Lent is a season of self-examination, and returning to God with all of our hearts. We are invited to be as honest as we can be about the ways in which we have left God and slipped into spiritual mediocrity.” It is in this place of undefended vulnerability that we experience the unconditional love of God.
This year, Lent begins Wednesday, February 17, and marks the 40 days (plus Sundays) that lead up to Easter and is an opportunity to connect with God and others through spiritual practices.
Learn more and participate with us below!
Join the global Church in Biblical readings and reflections from Ruth Haley Barton during the Lenten season (licensed through TransformingCenter.org).
These daily devotional cards follow the Lenten Scripture readings of the Church, with reflection questions and a prayer, written by Rev. Sarah Are (licensed through SanctifiedArt.org).
“So much of the focus for children during Lent is preparing for Easter, but we want to invite you to help children engage with the season of Lent to learn about listening, courage, growth, sadness, unexpected joy, and above all else, God’s unconditional love for them. Click below to Sanctified Art’s families web page, where you’ll find some simple children’s lessons to accompany our Again & Again resources for Ash Wednesday through Easter (Anna Strickland).”
Join your Flood family, and the global Church, as we come together in a season of prayer and fasting. This sacred rhythm is not obligatory, but designed to bring freedom, as a counter-formation to the business of life.
Lent is a season of following Jesus into the wilderness, where we will be tested, and tempted to find our value in what we do, what other say about us, and what we have–this grasping for love is driven by our “false self”. In this teaching, the late great Henri Nouwen, describes letting go of this false self, in order to receive our true God-given identity as beloved children.
You may have a better experience by viewing directly at The Henri Nouwen Society YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/HenriNouwenSociety
Watch Henri Nouwen’s, Being the Beloved video, then spend some time in the False Self > True Self practice below.
Soong-Chan Rah writes that, “Lament in the Bible is a liturgical response to the reality of suffering and engages God in the context of pain and trouble. The hope of lament is that God would respond to human suffering that is wholeheartedly communicated through lament…Theologian Randy Woodley identifies this deeper engagement as the Hebrew word shalom, which is often translated simplistically as “peace.” Woodley asserts that shalom “is active and engaged, going far beyond the mere absence of conflict. Shalom, therefore, does not eschew or diminish the role of the other or the reality of a suffering world. Instead, it embraces the suffering other as an instrumental aspect of well-being. Shalom requires lament.”
The paintings above are titled: Pietà: “Woman, Behold Your Son; Behold Your Mother”, by T.D. Anderson.
Visit T.D. Anderson Art, to read the connection between Jesus and Mary (Matthew 19:26-27), and Emmett and Mamie Till-Mobley. Then, spend some time writing out your own lament, using the worksheet below if needed.
“Visio divina,” Latin for ‘divine seeing,’ is a long-practiced spiritual discipline in the Christian tradition. It invites us into an active awareness of God’s presence through images, reflection, and prayer, opening us up to His invitations for our lives. Remember: Lean into this spiritual practice with no expectations. Relax, and allow the ‘right side’ of your brain to inform your journey with Christ.” —David Smith,Theodyssey.org
The Good Shepherd, by Kelly Latimore.
Visit Kelly Latimore Icons Art, for the full image and to purchase prints. Click the button below to practice Visio Divina through the eyes of John 10.
In her book, Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Ruth Haley Barton writes, “I invite God to show me those times I may not have been as loving as I want to be or times I may have failed to notice or respond to a prompting of the Holy Spirit. If I need to confess sin or learn from a mistake, I do that as God and I take our evening walk together. The practice of reviewing my day with God is rooted in the ancient Christian practices of examen of consciousness (looking back over the day to notice God’s presence) and examen of conscience (noticing my response or lack of response to that presence). It helps me to release the events of this day to God, which then enables me to receive the gift of sleep that night and live in the new mercies that are awaiting me when I wake up the next morning.”
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139.23-24).
Enter into your sacred time and space and invite God to reveal reality–the places leading you to death, and the invitations leading you towards life.
In his book, The Way of the Heart, Henri Nouwen writes, “The literal translation of the words ‘pray always’ (1 Thess. 5:17) is ‘come to rest’… The Greek word for rest is hesychia. We tend to see prayer primarily as an activity of the mind, however, hesychasts is prayer of the heart.” This is the essence of what contemplation means—prayer of the heart. As North African pastor, Augustine wrote 1600 years ago, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You” (Confessions, 1.1.1.).
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
Enter into your sacred time and space and join God in the prayer the Spirit is already praying within you. Use the guide below to help you discern God’s prayer for you.
“Consider creating a space where you can get on your knees in the “secret chamber” and be with God. A friend from Brazil started a tradition of tacking prayers on her wall, so she could pray simply by looking at the walls and remembering the needs of her neighborhood and all the prayers God has answered” (Shane Claiborne, CommonPrayer.net).
Practice resting in God’s presence through music, like: “Who Can Compare”, by Christy Nockels
Who can compare to You, my King
Who can compare to You, my Lord
Who can compare to You, my Friend
I looked and I found
That there’s no one like You in all the earth
You take my hand and You guide me on
You show me the way to life
You lift my head and You give me hope
You show me the way to life
No one compares to You, my King
No one compares to You, my Lord
No one compare to You, my Friend
I looked and I found that You’re the one
I needed all along
You are the way
You are the truth
You are the life
You are my life
Kelly Latimore Icons, for Visio Divina, prayer and reflection.
Pietà: “Woman, Behold Your Son; Behold Your Mother”,, by T.D. Anderson.
Poetry for Lent L& Easter, for Visio Divina, from Christians throughout history.
Compline Choir, a sung prayer service.
Songs of Lament, Benjamin Raber’s Spotify playlist.
Lent Songs, Salt of the Sound (Spotify playlist).
Bad Word Series (Sin, Transgression, Iniquity), The Bible Project.
“Gospel” Word Study, The Bible Project.
Books of the Bible Overviews, The Bible Project.
Jesus and the Disinherited, by Howard Thurman
The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James H. Cone
Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times, by Soong-Chan Rah
Teach us to Pray: The Lord’s Prayer in the Early Church and Today, Justo L. González
Lent for Everyone: Mark, Year B, A Daily Devotional, by N.T. Wright
The Lord’s Prayer Workshop
The Early Church Practice for Our Prayer Life Today
Sunday, February 28, 7:30-9pm, Zoom
RSVP to [email protected]
Lent Season Workshop: Shepherding Your Soul
Sunday, March 14, 7:30-9pm, Zoom
The Lent season (February 17 – April 3) is an opportunity to join the Church in keeping time through re-living the story of Jesus. Join Pastor Scott for some sacred time as we: Engage in a Soul Check, Learn Your Soul’s Prayer, Group Spiritual Direction, and Practice the Presence of God.
RSVP to [email protected]
Pray-as-you-go is an App that offers a daily meditation involving music, Scripture, reflection questions, and prayer. Read by Jesuit leaders from the UK, Each devotional is between 10-13 minutes.Pray-as-you-go.org
Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals is an App, created by Shane Claiborne, that follows the daily Church calendar Scripture readings, liturgy, and inspirational quotes from Christian's past.Common Prayer.net
Lectio 365 is inspired by Lectio Divina, a way of meditating on the Bible that’s been used by Christians for centuries. This resource helps you engage with Scripture to inspire prayer and shape your life.Lectio 365
Join Ruth Haley Barton and Steve Wiens this Lenten season as they walk through Robert Mulholland’s book, The Deeper Journey: The Spirituality of Discerning Your Truth Self.Podcast