Ash Wednesday is March 2, 2022, and this day marks the season of Lent, the forty-six days of preparation from Ash Wednesday to Easter. A very moving video created by Rev. Elizabeth Grasham (First Christian Church Nowata) is about preparing ashes to use on Ash Wednesday. We anticipate that Ash Wednesday services this year again will be a mix of hybrid, on-line, and in-person services. However your congregation celebrates this day, we hope you will take a moment to step into the season, to be reflective upon your own heart and mind, and to walk humbly and faithfully toward Jerusalem.

While there are many resources to accompany our journey toward Jerusalem, here are two to pick up and delve into:

Faithful Families for Lent, Easter, and Resurrection: Simple Ways to Create Meaning for the Season by Traci Smith was just published in January of 2022. She first recognizes that this season of Lent, Easter, and Resurrection involves matters of the “heart of Christian faith.” She also recognizes that this journey toward Jerusalem tends to be violent, but, she focuses on this season as one of mystery and wonder. Inside this book are real ideas for prayers, practices, and conversation starters to help guide those on the journey whether it be a family or a small group.

Fierce Love: A Bold Path to Ferocious Courage and Rule-Breaking Kindness That Can Heal the World by Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis was published in November of 2021. In the introduction, Jacqui writes, “. . . put simply, we are in a perilous time, and the answer to the question “Who are we to be?” will have implications for generations to come. We have a choice to make. We can answer this question with diminished imagination . . . or we can answer the question of who we are to be another way.” She calls for a “demanding, heart-transforming, fierce love.” This book would be a fascinating study for Lent.

These books are readily available in online bookstores.