Six Top Picks for Lent 2019

Added about 3 months ago by Sacristy Press

Christmas is a distant memory now, so it's time to get that pancake pan out and prepare for Lent. 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, so select one of our excellent Lent companions to help you to think and reflect more deeply and purposefully this year.

Here are six of our top picks for 2019. In no particular order


#1 – With God We Live Without God

Contain[s] a wealth of distilled Christian wisdom. … This is a book to savour, slowly.

Sheila Maxey, Reform, February 2019

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945) is one of the most well-known theologians of the twentieth century. 70 years after his death, he is still referred to in public debates. His writings cover a variety of themes and have helped to unite friends of Christ from across the world.

With God We Live Without God contains a series of 30 reflections and prayers that draw inspiration from the theological challenges, thought-provoking statements, and new intellectual constructs that defined Bonhoeffer’s own reflections.

Who’s it for?

This is a great book for anyone interested in Dietrich Bonhoeffer, prayer or theology. The events surrounding Bonhoeffer deeply affected his life and relationship with God, and this book uses his words to help us to reflect on our own life and relationship with God.

How to use it?

With 30 reflections and prayers lasting only a couple of pages each, this book is perfect for dipping in and out of each day during Lent. Meet up with friends or your study group to discuss what the reflections mean to each person.

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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 – The Evil That Men Do: Faith, Injustice and the Church

A considered and thoughtful book which seeks to examine the way we look through twenty-first-century eyes at the “darker” events in Church history. … We are challenged to look at the story of the Christian Church afresh and to see the Spirit of God moving through human history and through the people of God as they have sought to live, witness and share with others the love of God which they have experienced through Jesus Christ.

The Rt Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells

At a time when barbarous acts of terrorism are being committed globally and society ponders whether the perpetrators are legitimate religious adherents, Marcus Paul makes an unflinching and counter-cultural examination of some of the worst periods in the Church’s history. In a refreshingly frank treatment of the Church’s past failings, this book fills a gap in our understanding of what it is to be Christian in the twenty-first century.

Who’s it for?

Anyone wanting to reflect on some of our human shortcomings. While a humbling process, it prepares us well for the wonder of the Easter story: Christ’s humility in entering our world and identifying himself with the mess we have made of it.

How to use it?

This is an excellent book for personal study. Use it to shape and inform your journey of prayer as you travel through Lent.

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#6 – Mission From Below: Growing a Kingdom Community

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 economy delivery on any orders of two or more books, so why not choose two or three titles and save one for next year?


Please note: Sacristy Press does not necessarily share or endorse the views of the guest contributors to this blog.

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