Lent 2020

Joseph Noel Paton – The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Welcome.

If you want to get right to the posts written for this series, scroll to the bottom.

Maybe you are new to this blog. Maybe you have been coming around since the very beginning. Either way, I extend a warm welcome and ask you to stay awhile. Why, you wonder…what am I offering? Why should you spend your limited time here? What will you gain?

I want to answer honestly. I despise sales pitches and stale promises. I hate lists that dictate how I should spend my time, and one more addition to my agenda. I resent margin squeezed out of my day. I don’t know about you but I grow exceedingly weary of the many teachers who want access to my life offering wisdom, knowledge and everything I need. And a bag of chips. To go.

This is why I am not giving you a promise, a list, or a challenge for the season marked LENT. And why I reconsidered the catchy phraseology and titles to share on social media. Because when I focus on that I lose something along the way. I know it’s really good to make a good online appearance, and I am working to drag my blog forward into a more current state, but this can’t be my focus for this season.

Instead I want to do what I know I do best- which is to share my journey with you and trust that God will get through to those who are meant to read the words and receive them. Even me.

I have thought about the many ways that I could share the history, background, and arguably dogmatic reasons for embracing a season that focuses on Jesus, and leads all the way home to reconciliation with the One True Living God. But I realize that is not God’s way for me.

Instead, I will offer a pilgrims journey…

There are already a multitude of voices crying out for attention for various reasons I do not profess to know, but suspect have more to do with numbers and approval, and a variety of other focuses I pray to avoid.

I welcome you to join with me in a journey NOT steeped in religiosity, nor a presumed spirituality common to our day, but instead I hope to share words that move the heart. Some are poems I am in the process of revising, some words will come as we go.

I pray my heart and yours would move forward towards repentance, reliance on God, and worshipful adherence to His grace and truth. This IS the continual journey of life with Christ. This is Lent in my estimation. I confess a love for the Liturgical Calendar. A calendar focused on God as opposed to the seasons created by him seems reasonable to me. If this causes you to wonder about what I believe about Jesus, then trust me the first poetic offering for this journey will reveal the heart of God living in me in Christ.

I will be sharing poetry and prose I have written to encourage intimacy with God as I have come to know it. My prayer is that the words I share will nourish your relationship with the Lord and you will come away from this season called Easter, having experienced fresh insight, inspiration and intimacy with the One who gave himself to secure our salvation.

What to Expect:

First let me say what NOT to expect. I will not be directing your scripture reading. I am personally committed to my current reading plan and assume most of you are following a Bible reading plan for 2020. My goal is not to direct your path but to encourage intimacy with the One who is directing your path.

  1. I will be publishing here on the blog each Wednesday and Sunday for the Season of Lent.
  2. I am sharing two websites that are a source of inspiration to me and which add beauty to my days. The first is Sacred Ordinary Days on Spotify. The second is Biola University’s Christian Center for the Arts 2020 Lent Project. Use them as you will.
  3. Simply, visit the blog each Wednesday and Sunday for a new poetry or prose post. My prayer and intention is that the words shared would draw you closer to Christ by His grace for His glory. What He will reveal to us as we go, I’ve yet to know. I only extend the invitation as a fellow traveler willing to share the bread given for the journey.

The painting I’ve chosen for the landing page of Lent 2020 is possibly my very favorite piece of religious art. I greatly appreciate the artwork created over the centuries of church history, having been drawn to it at some point after my conversion to Christ. The thought of the third person of the Holy Trinity working himself through artists, poets, thinkers and the ordinary people of God over time intrigues me and comforts me.

This same Spirit of God never changes but continually reveals himself through the works, words and wonders of God’s people. May we not be blind to Him. May the Lord give us eyes to see, ears to hear and may we seeing and hearing behold His beauty, Amen.

You will find all posts for Lent 2020 linked on this page and listed below after publishing for easy access.

Post 1: Ash Wednesday- The Perspective of Dust

Post 2: 1st Sunday- Return to Dust

Post 3: The Victory of Three (2020)

Post 4: Song

Post 5: Begin Again

Post 6: Remember the Birds

Post 7: Remember 2020

Post 8:

Post 9:

Post 10:

Palm Sunday:

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