Day of Pentecost

A blessed Pentecost, friends! May you know the power of the risen and reigning Christ resting on you and working through you today, tomorrow, and always! 


Look: Anatomy of A Flame, Chemical Atlas - Flame


Listen: “The Source” from There’s A Light, Liz Vice

Spotify | YouTube | Lyrics

Listen to my entire playlist on Spotify: Pentecost 2019. Add it to your account by clicking ‘Follow.’


Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.”

*

”These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.”

*

”For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”

*

”And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
— Genesis 11:1-9 * Psalm 104:27-30 * Romans 8:14-15 * Acts 2:3-4, 14-21 (ESV)

Pray:

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer, Collect for The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday

Do:

Enjoy a campfire this evening.

How to: Start a campfire with one match

Enjoy a campfire this evening and take a moment to read Malcolm Guite's sonnet for Pentecost:

Pentecost

Today we feel the wind beneath our wings
Today  the hidden fountain flows and plays
Today the church draws breath at last and sings
As every flame becomes a Tongue of praise.
This is the feast of fire,air, and water
Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release
Today the gospel crosses every border
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in His translation.
Whose mother-tongue is Love, in  every nation.


See Pentecost posts from previous years here.

Our favorite Lent devotionals and online resources

 Is this your first time to practice Lent? Here's a simple introduction.

Lent begins in a little less than a week!  I wanted to share a quick list of devotional books and other resources we've enjoyed over the past few years. 

First things first: Lent is mostly about recognizing God’s heart for us and the gaps between what we understand about His heart and what we actually receive. You may or may not need any additional resources beyond meeting regularly with your church for worship. If it’s helpful for your daily practice to have a devotional book or meditative prompts, the rest of this post is loaded with ideas. If you’re new to Lent, here's a simple introduction.

I’m someone who relishes the “community” of the written word, art, and other resources. I’m also just as likely to avoid God’s heart for me by losing myself in a pile of devotional resources. You might decide that this year you need one Psalm and a good hiking trail or empty journal or small group of trusted friends to consider God’s heart together. You might only need a Scripture verse to meditate through the 40 days (plus 6 blessed Sundays!) of Lent, a special candle and bouquet of flowers to catch your attention each morning.

All of that to say: please proceed with caution. Know you are deeply held in God’s heart and He is most interested in the space you’ll make for Him to share himself with you.

Lenten flowers.jpg

Here’s our favorite resources - in print and online - we’ve found helpful through the years. You'll notice that we definitely lean toward art/literature/liturgy in our devotional material. Also, we've used each of these books (some every year) unless otherwise noted.

I’d love to hear what you’d add to the list!


Devotionals

Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter, by C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, Jane Kenyon and more, Plough Publishing House, 2014

Plough Publishing | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Like it’s Advent companion, this collection will satisfy the growing hunger for meaningful and accessible devotions. Culled from the wealth of twenty centuries, the selections in Bread and Wine are ecumenical in scope and represent the best classic and contemporary Christian writers. Includes approximately fifty readings on Easter and related themes by Thomas à Kempis, Frederick Buechner, Oswald Chambers, Alfred Kazin, Jane Kenyon, Søren Kierkegaard, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Christina Rossetti, Edith Stein, Walter Wangerin, William Willimon, Philip Yancey, and others.

Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God by Bobby Gross, IVP Books, 2009

Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Living the Christian Year remains one of the best devotionals we've seen that covers the entire liturgical year. Whether you're familiar or unfamiliar with following the liturgical year, this book makes it easy to do, offering here the significance and history of each season, ideas for living out God's Story in your own life, and devotions that follow the church calendar for each day of the year. The author’s uncomplicated, but substantial, introductions for each liturgical season are especially helpful for those who are new to following the Church calendar.

The Rising: Living the Mysteries of Lent, Easter and Pentecost by Wendy M. Wright, Darton, Longman and Todd, 2005

Amazon | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

I'm always grateful for devotionals that cover the whole arc of a liturgical cycle. We gain so much when we walk with Christ through the biblical narratives of Lent, Easter and Pentecost. Like in her Advent corollary, I appreciate Wright's devotional voice. In the narrative she interjects from her own life she manages to speak with both warmth and soundness without tipping over into sentimentality or prescription. I appreciate the balance, and find it lacking from many female devotional writers. I’m especially grateful to Wendy Wright for her applications of classic music and literature into the weekly Lent reflections.

40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of Hunger. A Different Kind of Fast. by Alicia Britt Chole, Thomas Nelson, 2016

Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Our church used this devotional together our final Lent in Austin. This is an excellent guide for anyone wanting to understand better the spiritual practice of fasting.


Devotionals and Meditations especially suited for families

Let Us Keep the Feast: Living the Church Year at Home (Holy Week and Easter) by Jessica Snell, Doulos Resources, 2014

Amazon (It’s currently out of stock, but you can find used booksellers.) | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

A mercifully simple, but substantial collection of ideas for living out the liturgical year with your family. This book is especially geared toward families with young children.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jago, Zonderkidz, 2007

Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Every person I know who owns this book loves it (and many adults admit they love it for themselves as much as for their children). "...invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God's great story of salvation---and at the center of their Story too." While it is a storybook that covers the whole Bible, many families enjoy intentionally following the journey of Christ during Advent and Lent. You can download a free Jesus Storybook Lent Guide for your family.

Wisdom in the Waiting: Spring’s Sacred Days (Stories from the Farm in Lucy series) by Phyllis Tickle, Loyola Press, 2004

Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

I just discovered this charming little trilogy of books for the liturgical year from the religion section of our library book sale. I knew Phyllis Tickle's work in the Divine Hours prayer manuals, but had no idea she was a long-time columnist and wrote such lovely prose. I also had no idea that Mrs. Tickle was mother to seven children, 5 of whom she and her husband Sam moved to a Tennessee farm when they wanted to recover their own childhood rural roots. Each brief, engaging story in the book is taken from the family's escapades making life work on the farm.

Seamless Faith: Simple Practice for Daily Family Life by Traci Smith, Chalice Press, 2014

Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

I browsed this book on recommendation and then quickly passed it along to my sister to use with her preschool kiddos. This is the kind of book I wish I’d known about when my kids were little. If you try it, let me know what you think!


Art & Literature Meditations for Lent

God For Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter edited by Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe, Paraclete Press

Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Like its Advent companion is for Advent, this is my favorite devotional book for Lent. The full-color artwork is gorgeous and the writings include authors like Scott Cairns, Kathleen Norris, Richard Rohr, Luci Shaw, James Schaap and Lauren Winner. We put this book on an easel next to our candles, along with some Bibles for people to pick up and read when they have quiet moments.

Lenten Meditations by James B. Janknegt, 2016

Buy from the author’s website.

Forty paintings based on the parables of Jesus, one for each day of Lent. Artwork, meditations, and prayer all by the author/artist Jim Janknegt. Brian and I had the privilege to help fund the creation of this beautiful book by one of our favorite Austin artists, and we highly recommend it to you. Great for individuals or families.

Sounding the Seasons: Seventy sonnets for Christian year by Malcolm Guite, Canterbury Press Norwich, 2012

Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

While this collection of sonnets from the Anglican priest/poet/troubadour covers the entire year, his 5 sonnets for Holy Week and 14 sonnets for the Stations of the Cross are stunning.

Word In the Wilderness: A poem a day for Lent and Easter by Malcolm Guite, Canterbury Press Norwich, 2014

Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

We don’t own this book (yet), but I follow Malcolm Guite’s generous blog and have read much of what’s in the book. He is a gift to our generation (and many more to come). One bonus of reading Guite’s sonnets on his blog is to hear him read his sonnets by clicking the link for the audio recording. A real treat from our British brother!

Between Midnight and Dawn: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide by Sarah Arthur, Paraclete Press, 2016

Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Like its Advent and Ordinary Time companions, Sarah Arthur’s thoughtful Lent reader compiles work from classic and contemporary literature provides prayer, Psalm, Scripture readings, poetry and fiction selections for each week throughout Lent and the seven weeks of Eastertide, with daily selections for Holy Week. Poetry and fictions selections include new voices such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Benjamín Alire Sáenz along with well-loved classics by Dostoevsky, Rossetti, and Eliot.This is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to develop more fully in the practice of spiritual reading.

The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day from Ash Wednesday to Easter by Sister Wendy Beckett, SPCK, 2017

Amazon | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

We don’t own this book yet, but it’s at the top of my wish list! “This delightful book describes and interprets a series of paintings for each day of Lent. Artists often address subjects that our culture seeks to avoid, and Sister Wendy's brilliant and perceptive reflections will help you to read these paintings with a more discerning eye and encounter deeper levels of spiritual meaning than may at first appear.”

Hinds’ Feet On High Places: An Engaging Visual Journey by Hannah Hurnard, Illustrated by Jill De Haan and Rachel McNaughton, Tyndale House Publishers, 2017

Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

We’re reading this beloved Christian allegory with our church’s reading group for Lent this year. This mixed-media special edition complete with charming watercolor paintings, antique tinted photography, meditative hand-lettered Scripture, journaling and doodling space, and designs to color looks beautiful!


Theology for Lent

The Cross of Christ by John Stott - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Meditations On the Cross by Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ by Fleming Rutledge - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

The Seven Last Words From the Cross by Fleming Rutledge - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion by N.T. Wright - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Death On A Friday Afternoon: Meditations On The Last Words Of Jesus From The Cross by Richard John Neuhaus - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers


Fiction with Lenten themes

The Wrinkle In Time Quintet - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season by C. S. Lewis, Elizabeth Goudge, Leo Tolstoy, and more - Plough Publishing House | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Silence: A Novel by Shusaku Endo - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Housekeeping: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Peace Like A River by Leif Enger - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Forty for 40: A Literary Reader for Lent


Non-fiction with Lenten themes

The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers (Follow along with me and other readers this Lent through Englewood Review of Books!)

The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson - Amazon | IndieBound | Hearts & Minds Booksellers

Lent 2015 – Recommended Books to Read and Discuss via Englewood Review of Books

Raising Racial Awareness: Book Recommendations from Englewood Review of Books

4 books on grief you’ll actually love


Online resources for Lent

Lent Daybook 2019 from A Sacramental Life (!)

An American Lent from The Repentance Project

Announcing Our Lenten Book Conversation for The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel, Englewood Review of Books

Artful Devotion, a weekly blog series offered throughout Lent and the rest of the liturgical year at Art & Theology by Victoria Emily Jones


Helpful articles & resources for practicing Lent

Giving Up and Taking Up: What we do (and don’t do) when we keep Lent by Tish Harrison Warren at The Well

A Suggestion for Lent & Soup: Let’s Get Ready for Lenten Suppers! from Like Mother, Like Daughter

Lenten Disciplines: Almsgiving from Anglican Pastor

Making Room: A Child’s Guide to Easter and Lent via The Homely Hours

Ash Wednesday Explained via The Homely Hours

“Grand Ordinariness:” Thoughts on Cooking with Limits via The Homely Hours

Lent Collects: Printable via The Homely Hours

Help in Practicing the Examen by Cobbleworks

Pancakes, Donuts, and Carnival via Pathways to God

An Ignatian Diet for Lent via Pathways to God

Practices & Resources for Observing Lent from Cardiphonia


Please note: Last year I began using Amazon affiliate links as a way to bring in some pocket change from the books I share on the blog. I was challenged by an independent bookseller to reconsider this strategy as Amazon has a poor reputation in its dealings with authors and other members of the book industry. I want to champion local business and humane working relationships and so I've included an IndieBound link that will direct you to purchase any of the following books from an independent bookseller near you. I've also included the order link for one of my new favorite booksellers, Hearts and Minds Books.  Using the link I've provided you can order any book through heartsandmindsbooks.com, a full service, independent bookstore and receive prompt and personal service. They even offer the option to receive the order with an invoice and a return envelope so you can send them a check! Brian and I've been delighted with the generous attention we've received from owners Byron and Beth Borger. We feel like we've made new friends! (I also highly recommend subscribing to Byron's passionately instructive and prolific Booknotes posts.)

Advent Daybook, 22: O Emmanuel (God Is With Us)

Advent Daybook, 22: O Emmanuel (God Is With Us)

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Look: Annunciation, 1610, El Greco

Listen: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” from Medieval Christmas, Kemper Crabb

Read: Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:20b-23, Luke 1:46-55

Pray: “Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”

Do: Bless someone you know who’s had a difficult year with a secret gift.

Read More

Advent Daybook, 21: O Rex Gentium (King of the Nations)

Advent Daybook, 21: O Rex Gentium (King of the Nations)

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Look: Jesus Rides A White Horse, James B. Janknegt (source)

Listen: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” from Nine Lessons & Carols, The Choir of King’s College (Stephen Cleobury)

Read: Jeremiah 10:6-7, Haggai 2:6-9, Isaiah 2:2-4, 9:5, Ephesians 2:17-22, Matthew 21:33-42

Pray: O come, Desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of humankind; O bid our sad divisions cease, and be for us our Prince of Peace.”

Do: Spend at least 15 minutes sitting in silence. Don’t try to make anything happen during the time. Just be.

Read More

Advent Daybook, 20: O Oriens (Radiant Dawn)

Advent Daybook, 20: O Oriens (Radiant Dawn)

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Look: Grace Vessel — With Healing in His Wings, Grace Carol Bomer (source)

Listen: “There’s A Light” from Light of the Stable, Emmylou Harris

Read: Psalm 139:11-12, Hebrews 1:1-3, Malachi 4:1-3, Isaiah 9:1, 58:8-10, 60:1-3, 19, Revelation 22:16, Luke 1:78-79

Pray: “O come, O Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by your drawing nigh; disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death's dark shadow put to flight.”

Do: Turn off electric lights and technology for the evening.

Read More