Walter Brueggemann and more for Lent...

I know that some hate the thought that Lent is just two and a half weeks away:  not me!  I not only love to honor this complicated and nuanced season of inner reflection and outward service, but want to keep discovering ways to keep it fresh and liberating.  So far this year we've started distributing a worship brochure to highlight the ways to enter a Holy Lent.  I found that during Advent, a whole lot of new folk - without much of a background in liturgical theology or aesthetics - just didn't get what was going on.  So... we have realized that there is a ton of interpretive work to be done for both Advent and Lent. To date, we've nailed down the following:

Sunday mornings will start with a deep survey of the Hebrew Bible.  I have one of New England's true scholars and saints in a retired clergy person who will guide this conversation.On both Monday evening and Wednesdays at 12 noon, a team of leaders will join me as we explore the Living the Questions DVD of Walter Brueggemann's lecture:  Countering Pharaoh's Production-Consumption Society for Today.  He says of this series, "It is a journey from slavery to covenant that we must keep making over and over again... because Pharaoh has an immense power to draw us back into slavery." And we've started work on Ash Wednesday as well as the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies - with a special tenderness for the themes of betrayal and desertion in all.

I think this year I will simply follow the wisdom and strangeness of the Common Lectionary and see where this leads us.  It looks like the rhythm of the readings begins in the wilderness (of course) with an invitation to change directions.  Then, using the gospel of John, we will be asked to be "born again" or "opened to the spirit from above," as well as consider sharing living water, being healed of blindness and leaving behind death in all its forms.

It looks like there will be a lot of jazz performances, too, plus a trip to Maryland to see my sister who continues to need assistance in healing from a host of stomach, kidney and internal organ complications.  And just for my own self I think I'll be working my way through Barbara Brown Taylor's slim volume:  When God Is Silent.  It may also be time to revisit either the Rule of Benedict with Joan Chittister's commentary or A Spirituality of Imperfection by Ernest Kurtz.

Hmmm... I wonder how all three might help shape and inform the Lenten lessons this year?


Philomena Ewing said…
This looks really interesting. Thanks also for some pointers to resources. I'm always especially hungry in the Lenten season - not from fasting nor giving up chocolate but spiritually hungry(!). I have not heard of Ernest Kurtz but the title is intriguing.
Prayers and warm blessings come your way for you and your sister RJ
RJ said…
Thanks so much, Philomena.

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