Now the King’s cake has been eaten, the Mardis Gras beads have been discarded, and we’ve come to the season of dust and ashes. On Tuesday, Renea gave us some great reminders about the purpose of Ash Wednesday and Lent, with some wonderful writing on the subject from Frederick Buechner. Her post got me thinking about other books that would aid in this year’s Lenten devotion. There are a lot of great choices out there. Here are 5 of my top picks:
In this Christian classic, Richard Foster explores the “classic” Christian disciplines such as fasting, prayer, and meditation. His writing is succinct and approachable, making it an excellent primer for Lenten devotional practice.
During Lent, you’ll hear a lot of people talk about fasting — both from food and from other things. Fasting can seem like a strange practice these days. What separates it from dieting? What keeps it from becoming legalistic? In A Hunger for God, Piper shifts the focus from what people give up during a fast to what they gain — namely, a closer relationship with God.
This is the book I’m enjoying this Lenten season. Between Midnight and Dawn starts with Ash Wednesday and runs all the way through Eastertide, combining weekly prayer and scripture passages with selections from great literature that build on each week’s themes. The devotional experience is rich and unique, as the literary selections help the reader to forge surprising connections and fresh interpretations of age-old ideas.
While not on an explicitly Lenten topic, The Pursuit of God is a great choice for Lent because of its unrelenting focus on knowing God personally. His chapter called “The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing” is also a helpful reminder of the correct attitude for Lent — and any other time of year for the Christian who wishes to know God more fully.
This classic meditation on suffering and doubt is the perfect companion for the season of the church year that ends culminates in Christ’s own suffering on the cross.
There you have it — my picks for Lenten reading. What books would you recommend for this time of the church year?