We are on the tail-end of spring fever here in Nebraska after enjoying more than a week of unseasonably warm weather. We fired up the grill for some steak kabobs, had a picnic at a local state park, and shed sweaters, jackets and boots for short sleeves and capris. It was lovely while it lasted…but it also made me forget what season we are right smack in the middle of right now, which is winter.
And with winter comes Lent, the six-week period of reflection and repentance that begins with Ash Wednesday, one week from today. For the last seven years I’ve worked with my church here in Lincoln to produce a daily Lenten devotional booklet, and this year (like last), I collaborated with two gifted writers — Evi Wusk and my husband, Brad – to create Faith in God’s Promises: Praying through Lent with Luther’s Small Catechism.
Martin Luther may be best-known for his revolutionary 95 Theses, but he also wrote a quieter volume geared toward helping parents teach their children the Bible and foundational principles of the Christian faith. It’s called Luther’s Small Catechism, and this year, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, is the perfect time (whether you are a parent or not – think of it as a refresher on the basics of our Christian faith) to reflect on what Luther had to say in this simple but powerful piece.
No worries – you don’t need to be a Lutheran to find the Small Catechism relevant. In fact, this little book is one of Luther’s most accessible and practical works. In it he offers concrete guidance for approaching foundational prayers such as The Lord’s Prayer and The Apostle’s Creed, as well as insights into The Ten Commandments, the sacraments of baptism and communion, and why blessings (such as those said prior to a meal) are an important part of a Christian’s faith.
Each of the devotions in Faith in God’s Promises can stand alone. But if you do wish to read the suggested corresponding text from Luther’s Small Catechism, you can do so easily by downloading the free Small Catechism app, available from Augsburg Fortress, onto your smart phone (for more information on the app, click here).
TO RECEIVE THE 2017 LENT DEVOTIONAL:
If you are already an email subscriber, you will find a link to the 2017 Lent devotional booklet at the very bottom of your email. Just click the link that says “CLICK HERE,” and it will bring you to a PDF of the devotional booklet, which you can then either save to your own computer or print.
If you do not already subscribe to my blog posts via email, I invite you to do so today. Just enter your email in the box below and click subscribe. When the “welcome” note pops up, fill in the quick information, and then when you receive the Subscription Confirmation email in your in-box, it will include a link to the free 2017 Lent devotional booklet (which you can either save to your computer or print out). When you receive the blog posts via email, you’ll also see a link to the 2017 Lent devotional booklet at the very bottom of the email.
Thank you, friends, for the gift of you. May God bless you richly as you walk through this Lenten season.