6 inspiring books to give you a helping hand in Lent

Added about 7 months ago by Sacristy Press

Time to dig out your pancake pan and select one of our excellent Lent companions to help you to think and reflect more deeply and purposefully this year. Here at Sacristy Press, we have something for everyone, whether you want a book to read on your own, with a friend or in a small group.

Here are some of our top picks for 2018. In no particular order...


#1 – Everyday Phrases from the King James Bible

… an eminently suitable resource for a Bible Study group! … a gift that keeps on giving … a book to … use as a springboard for Bible exploration and to return to for reference. … a good way to break into understanding the Bible. … a few big surprises.

A reader’s review

In The Writing on the Wall, Richard Noble cleverly unpacks the treasure-trove of idioms and clichés that have entered everyone’s vocabulary—and yet few are aware of the King James Bible as their source.

Who’s it for?

The Writing on the Wall is a great discussion starter, so why not use it with family or friends at the breakfast or dinner table? Together, you’ll discover how the Bible phrases have entered the language. You might even find some of them quite surprising!

How to use it?

Read a chapter a day during Lent, which will take you right through the Old Testament. The chapters are very brief, so if you’re short on time you could leave it there. Or, if you want to dig deeper, each chapter has references to Bible texts for study. Keep it somewhere accessible and get it out again during Advent, where it can be used in the same way, with 25 brief chapters on the New Testament.

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#2 – Beyond Busyness: Time Wisdom in an Hour

What better to give up for Lent than busyness itself? The developed world is suffering from an epidemic of major proportions, and the disease at the heart of it is busyness. We are addicted to doing one thing after another with as little down-time as possible.

Lent is the time to take up a spiritual discipline which reflects Jesus’ 40 days and nights in the wilderness. Whatever else we can say about Jesus’ time there, we know he was definitely not busy. So why not take a leaf out of his book and find a way to cast busyness aside? Visit www.notbusy.co.uk to find out how to give up busyness, or follow @TimeWisdom on Twitter for some top tips during Lent!

Who’s it for?

Anyone short on time who wants to do something really meaningful and life-changing this Lent.

How to use it?

Take an hour on Ash Wednesday to glean all that you can from these pages, then spend the rest of Lent putting it into practice. And add the wristband to your order so that you have a constant reminder of your commitment and a talking point to inspire and encourage others.

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#3 – Living Prayer: Learning to Pray in Daily Life

A concise book of prayers and scripture to be used in everyday life. In this accessible read, Davey explains how, from the Cross, Jesus gave to the world the key to open the portal and gateway to the new heaven and the new earth, and that key is self-giving love. To use that key we need to call upon the power of inner reflection and contemplation of the presence of God, which is achieved by greater understanding of prayer and its purpose and place in today’s increasingly secular world.

Who’s it for?

Living Prayer is ideal if you want to renew your faith or to give away to someone you know who is questioning the efficacy of prayer and its relevance to everyday life.

How would I use it?

This is a great book to give to someone else, go away and read separately and then join together to compare notes and pray together.

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#4 – Cross Purposes : Reflections for Good Friday

Cross Purposes is a diverse collection of thought-provoking reflections based on a series of addresses given during the two hours at the foot of the cross on Good Friday.

Who’s it for?

Believers who are keen to explore the meaning of the entire Easter season from a fresh perspective.

How to use it?

This would make great material for a weekly small group to discuss together or for an individual to use as a personal devotional.

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#5 – God’s People and the Seduction of Empire

An accessible, radical and rare example of the aliveness and relevance of both the Old and New Testaments.

Ann Morisy , Community Theologian and Author

Traditionally, we have used the season of Lent as a time to reflect primarily on our personal spirituality and prayer lives. Jesus’ time in the wilderness was of course much more than this; he had to decide whether or not he would fulfil his calling and live the life that Israel had failed to live. Jesus is concerned about personal spirituality but also social justice. God’s People and the Seduction of Empire is about both of these themes and so is an ideal read for the Lent season. Looking into the Bible, the chapters explore what it means to deepen one’s faith.

Who’s it for?

Anyone wanting to be challenged to identify the temptations and seductions that we and the church face in the world today, and to use the Bible to deepen your understanding, grow in maturity and live as a responsible citizen. Each chapter ends with some thought provoking questions and a constructive prayer to help you with this.

How to use it?

The author suggests two options:

  1. Reading two chapters a week during Lent on your own or in a small group setting,
  2. Reading one chapter each week throughout Lent and the season of Easter. This emphasises the continuity between the penitential season and our belief in living resurrection lives.

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#6 – Mission From Below

Mission from Below provides a unique opportunity to understand the practise and true seasons of Lent, as it explores how church renewal can have a profound impact on the whole community. Author Dr Janet Hodgson reminds us that “Lent is less about a self-denying, inward-looking religiosity and more about the collective quest to pray penitentially for the healing of the Body of Christ”. Archbishop William Temple used to wish people “a happy Lent” to the surprise of many who normally used this time to focus on the sundry failings of the human condition.

Who’s it for?

Anyone wanting to reclaim the forward-looking spirit of preparation, watching and waiting, in joyful anticipation of Easter.

How would I use it?

You could use the six weeks of Lent to reflect on six major themes found in the book:

  1. The Cross of Jesus and the suffering of the People of God.
  2. Servant Leadership within the Community.
  3. Mission manifested in Kingdom values.
  4. Contemplative Prayer & the Quest for Justice.
  5. The Healing of the Whole Creation - man, beast and the Earth.
  6. An Ongoing Renewal and Reformation of the Church of Christ.

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Can’t decide?

Remember that Sacristy Press offers free delivery on any orders of two or more books, so why not choose two or three titles and save one for next year?

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