Just about all of the links I included in my top ten favorite Lenten resources post earlier today were sites I’ve known about and linked repeatedly for the last several years during both Lent and Advent. That’s why they’re Top Ten material. They’re tried and true.
But there are a number of other excellent sites out there that I haven’t linked to often if at all. Most of these sites came up on my radar screen for the first time this past Advent and I’m just now browsing some of these blogs and other sites to see what they’ve got on tap for Lent. The links that follow are in no particular order…
See especially the entries in the Lent category. Christine Sine at Godspace has been kind enough to link to Lent & Beyond several times, both in Advent and now in Lent, but my linking her blog here is more than just a way to thank her for her link. There are some excellent resources and posts at Godspace. See for instance: The 2009 Lenten Guide, “What is Lent anyway”, A Lenten meditation video, A liturgy for Lent, etc.
I have only skimmed through the 2009 Lenten Guide posted at Godspace, but what I’ve seen looks very encouraging. It seems to provide an excellent balance between focusing on our own need for personal repentance and holiness and looking outward to the needs of a broken world. It might make an excellent small group resource.
I discovered the Reformed Church in America’s excellent seasonal liturgical and family resources back in December when I was doing a compilation of links to resources on Jesse Trees and other Advent crafts. Of particular note: They have suggestions for celebrating Lent in the home, Children’s bulletins for Lent and Easter, an alternative to the traditional Easter Egg hunt (which includes many symbols related to Holy week and Easter, making it a good teaching tool), and worship resources for each Sunday of Lent.
3. The Story-Formed blog
I greatly enjoyed the reflections and liturgical ideas posted on this blog during Advent and am looking forward to seeing their Lenten posts.
4. Our Sunday Visitor/ Catholic Moms / Fridge Art sites: Some Lenten activities for Children
Here is a downloadable Lenten poster which might be useful for families or Sunday School classes
Fridge Art Lenten Crafts & Activities page. Note especially their idea for a Lenten Cross — which is basically very similar to an Advent Jesse tree in that it provides a structured way to appreciate prophecies about Christ’s crucifixion. Here’s how the Lenten Cross is described — this looks to be a really excellent idea, and all the Scripture references for each day of Lent are provided!
This family activity is similar to the Jesse Tree used at Advent. The Jesse Tree follows both the family tree of Jesus and the history of the first Advent when God’s people awaited the coming of the Messiah. The Lenten Cross simultaneously follows the Messianic prophecies through the Old Testament and matches each with its fulfillment in the Crucifixion narrative.
Like the Jesse Tree, your family Lenten Cross can be made of many materials. Some options are: a banner with Velcro dots for fastening, a wooden cross with small nails or hooks, or a laminated cardboard poster with reuseable sticky putty.
5. Some Lenten ideas and Resources from Desiring God (John Piper’s ministry)
For several years I’ve linked to wonderful Advent Poems by John Piper. I’d never come across any Lenten resources on his website before. Today I went and did a search to see if he had anything. (I love it when Baptists and other evangelicals “get” Advent or Lent.) I found two resources. One a post on how John Piper and his family celebrate Lent and Holy Week in their home. I found the idea of starting with lighting seven candles and extinguishing one each week to be very intruiging. There is also a booklet of Lenten reflections written by John’s wife Noel Piper. These can either be used weekly during Lent or daily during Holy Week. I am looking forward to checking these out.
There are three main pages of interest here. First: Some great sermon outlines / reflections based on each Sunday in Lent’s Gospel reading. Second: Lenten Worship planning ideas, the Further Resources page – which contains several nice pages with summaries of Scriptures applying to Ash Wednesday, Lent in General, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Very useful.