A Lenten Invitation

Depending on your experience with church traditions, you may or may not care that the season of Lent begins today. If it’s not something you’re familiar with, Lent is the 46 day period preceding Easter Sunday that begins on Ash Wednesday. You’ve probably heard of Lent as a 40 day period of fasting (people often choose one thing to “give up” during Lent, like meat or coffee or chocolate), so 46 days seems like church people are bad at calendar math. The old traditions of Lent required some form of fasting every day except Sunday, so the “extra” 6 days are the 6 Sundays between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Lenten fasting in current traditions varies by church denomination if it is observed at all.

I grew up going to Baptist churches, and that’s still where I attend, so I’m not as familiar with Lent as a regular yearly practice, but I think it’s a lovely tradition that focuses on spiritual discipline and preparing our hearts for Easter in the same way that Advent looks forward to Christmas. Several years ago, I led a group that focused on creativity as a way to worship God and study the Bible, and I wrote some creative journaling prompts for the group Lent. Rather than fasting, we decided to focus on the spiritual discipline of daily Bible study in the 40 days (plus the 6 Sundays…) leading up to Easter.

For a whole lot of reasons, this year I want to share those prompts with anyone who’d like to journal through Lent and build a practice of daily Bible study. Each day’s prompt has a short Bible passage to read and then something to write or draw in response. I’ll share each day’s prompt here on the blog as well as social media each morning. I’ll use #artoflent on the social media posts if that will help you find them. As I update this site and my e-mail list, I’ll point you to options to sign up for a daily e-mail version. (My goal is to have that worked out by the end of the week, but in the interest of being honest, there are some other things that need to take priority over blog work.)

If this turns out to be something you love, please feel free to share the prompts if you know someone else who might enjoy them. As always, I’d love to see what you create if you are willing to share it. You can comment, tag me on social media (also use #artoflent), or e-mail me at mabbat@gmail.com if you don’t want to share publicly. Even if creative work isn’t your thing, I pray that the verses each day will draw your heart to meditate on God’s word and the sacrifice of Jesus that is the focal point of church Easter traditions, regardless of denomination. I pray that this Lenten Season will be a time of renewed spiritual discipline and deeper faith. And I’m planning to return to regular content posting after Easter.

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