Today is Ash Wednesday. It is the day when Christians begin the season of Lent, a forty day preparation for Easter. Those who take the time to count the days from now until Easter Sunday will note that it actually totals forty-seven days in all. That is because the Lenten season of preparation and fasting does not count the Sundays. Sundays, for us, are always mini-Easter celebrations. For University Hill Congregation this is the twelfth year in which we have marked Lent by creating our own home-made Lenten daily devotional book. In the early years it was a hard-copy printed booklet for use within our congregation. Now it is an online resource used by our congregation and others who join us in the practice of reading, hosting and praying scripture as a means of continuing our formation as faithful witnesses to God's grace revealed in Jesus. You are most welcome to join us in this practice and are invited to spread the word to others who may be interested. Here is the introduction to this year's devotional, along with a link that will take you to it ...
Welcome to University Hill Congregation’s twelfth annual Lenten Devotional. Here you will find forty-seven daily scripture readings, each accompanied by a response offered by a member of our community. We invite one another to welcome scripture as a holy guest, offering each text hospitality in our midst, listening with curiosity for a living Word from God to our life here and now.
We find that this annual practice is one of the ways in which we are recovering our memory as a Christian community. The youngest contributor in this year’s devotional is five years old, the eldest is nearly one hundred. Some live close to our worshiping home on campus at the University of British Columbia, others have moved as far as Quebec and Sweden. We include university students and professors, retirees and workers of all sorts, some new to Christianity and some steeped in the faith. We share in common the hope that, through scripture, God is re-scripting our lives and life together so that the strange, new world of the Bible becomes the real world in which we live.
The forty-seven texts included in this year’s devotional are derived from three sources. First, we have included all of the lectionary texts from the six Sundays of Lent and from Easter Sunday along with lectionary texts from Ash Wednesday and a selection of texts from Holy Week. Second, since this year’s lectionary highlights the Gospel According to Luke, we have included a number of additional readings from Luke’s Gospel. Third, as the Lenten Bible study at University Hill this year is an invitation to host Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, we have included five passages from Galatians.
We invite you to join us in the daily practice of hosting scripture and, in doing so, in listening for God’s living Word today. We encourage you to consider developing this practice in your own congregation. We have found this to be a rich experience in which we rediscover scripture and one another. We wish the same for you.
Here is a link to University Hill Congregation's 2013 Lenten Devotional.