The word "Lent" comes from the old English word for “lengthen,” and refers to the lengthening days during the springtime months. Accordingly, the forty-day season of Lent (from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday) is meant to be a springtime for the soul, a time set aside by the church to help people prepare for the celebration of Easter, the day when God puts death to death, and life comes flooding back into the world.
This Lent, we are inviting the SALT community to prepare for the mystery of Easter by reading Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner, Assistant Professor of Christian Spirituality at Duke Divinity School. This tender, engaging book is an invitation to a life of spiritual practices such as keeping Sabbath, fasting, mourning, candle-lighting, hospitality, aging, and prayer.
As a convert to Christianity from Orthodox Judaism, Winner finds herself missing the practices of her youth, and so proposes ways in which the Christian tradition might benefit from reviving and reclaiming the rich and ancient traditions of its own spiritual practices.
Many people think of Lent as a time to “give up” (or fast from) chocolate, red meat, alcohol, etc. Fasting has its place in Christian life, and it will certainly be a part of many Lenten preparations - but this year we’re going to try something a little different. This year we’re going to ask you to read through this book with us and “take on” a new weekly practice until the magnolias bloom again, until we are filled with the good news of the gospel that death has been put to death, that winter always gives way to Spring.
So, tell your friends, your family, your churches, your co-workers - tell one and all because we'll be posting weekly practices, discussion starters, and lenten devotionals galore by our very own Holly McKissick.
Come journey with us through the Lenten wilderness. The crocuses are coming.
Thanks to Joost J. Bakker for this purple harbinger of life!