I've already written a blog about the importance of Lent as a time for personal devotion, and how it's a big time of the year for books, which is partly why we set up our own Lend for Lent initiative. But with 1st March looming ever closer, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of the new Lent books that have been issued for this year.
It is traditional for the Archbishop of Canterbury to choose a particular book which he endorses as is Lent book for that year. Previous authors have included Desmond Tutu, Graham Tomlin, Timothy Radcliffe and Stephen Cherry to name but a select few. This year however, and I'm not sure if this has ever happened before, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has written his own book entitled Dethroning Mammon. This is also Justin's first full-length book. In it, he addresses the subject of money and materialism and how it impacts our attitudes.
The Bible Reading Fellowship also release a Lent book each year. Their books are designed in a way that enables you to read a few pages every day of Lent, and generally include a passage from the Bible with a short reflection and a prayer. The theme of this year's book is The Living Cross by well known author and speaker Amy Boucher Pye who explores the freeing, life-changing nature of forgiveness.
Stephen Cottrell is no stranger to writing books appropriate books for this season, having previously release top selling books such as 'The Nail' 'The Things He Said' and 'The Things He Carried.' He completes this latter trilogy with the release of The Things He Did, a book which reflects on 6 extraordinary events of the week running up to Jesus' crucifixion. Each chapter ends with questions for your own personal reflections.
I should at this point say that most people think Lent lasts for 40 days, when actually it lasts for 46, if you include Sundays! If you don't include Sundays, then there are other books which, although written not with Lent in mind, but still could make useful reading during this season, and most of them will have '40 Days' in the title.
Scripture Union last year produced a prayer journal entitled 40 Days: Mark which is specifically designed for you to make time for God during times when life is particularly busy. Exploring passages from Mark's Gospel, while giving you space to write, draw and pray. Also available as 40 Days: Matthew
We've sold quite a few copies of Peter Scazerro's book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality in our short time being open. I've had it on good authority that its companion guide Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day is exceptionally good. The author introduces the ancient spiritual discipline of the Daily Office, with this simple premise: we need to intenionally stop to be with God more than once a day so that practicing the presence of God becomes real in our lives. So, each day has 2 readings, one for the morning and one for the evening. And both start and end the exact same way, with 2 minutes of silence.
The BRF book 40 Days with the Celtic Saints by David Cole, is basically devotionals based on 40 Celtic Saints, some well known, some more obscure, but all equally inspirational, and examines how their stories can relate to our own life journey and developing relationship with God.
And finally, an oldie but a goodie. Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life was groundbreaking when it first came out 15 year's ago, but it's impact on people's lives is still apparent. Maybe you haven't read it, or maybe this is the perfect time to re-read it. A 40 day spiritual journey to help you understand why you are alive and God's amazing plan for you.
These are just a few books we'd like to highlight to you. To view our full list, go to thebookwell.co.uk/lent and remember we offer free UK delivery for orders over £10. Or come into our shop at 73 Belmont Road, Belfast BT4 2AA to browse our selections. We're open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm.