God’s Own Country
”First Nations leaders and clergy from the Anglican Church, generously offer theological insights and personal reflections that help us to hear the VOICE of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of faith. Based on the Seven Days of Creation and with stunningly beautiful paintings by the Rev’d Aunty Robyn Davis, ‘God’s Own Country’ is an essential, life-giving and challenging study. In our struggle to become an authentically Australian church, what better resource could we turn to than the voices of leaders who draw on vibrant Christian faith and a 60,000 year old understanding of God’s relationship with the land and people of the country we call Australia. We hope every Anglican parish and person will study with First Nations leaders during Lent 2024, learning from and loving God through the gracious lens of Indigenous people of faith.”
The Last Week – Marcus Borg
Top Jesus scholars Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan join together to reveal a radical and little-known Jesus. Using the gospel of Mark as their guide, Borg and Crossan present a day-by-day account of Jesus’s final week of life. They begin their story on Palm Sunday with two triumphal entries into Jerusalem. The first entry, that of Roman governor Pontius Pilate leading Roman soldiers into the city, symbolized military strength. The second heralded a new kind of moral hero who was praised by the people as he rode in on a humble donkey. The Jesus introduced by Borg and Crossan is this new moral hero, a more dangerous Jesus than the one enshrined in the church’s traditional teachings. The Last Week depicts Jesus giving up his life to protest power without justice and to condemn the rich who lack concern for the poor. In this vein, at the end of the week Jesus marches up Calvary, offering himself as a model for others to do the same when they are confronted by similar issues. Informed, challenged, and inspired, we not only meet the historical Jesus, but meet a new Jesus who engages us and invites us to follow him.
Entering the Passion – Jill Amy-Levine
Jesus risked his reputation when he entered Jerusalem in a victory parade. He risked his life when he dared to teach in the Temple. His followers risked everything when they left behind their homes, or anointed him with costly perfume. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges. In Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. She shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience. Entering the Passion of Jesus provides a rich and challenging learning experience for small groups and individual readers alike. The book’s six chapters include: Jerusalem: Risking Reputation, The Temple: Risking Righteous Anger, Teachings: Risking Challenge, The First Dinner: Risking Rejection, The Last Supper: Risking the Loss of Friends, Gethsemane: Risking Temptation
A Different Kind of Fast – Christine Valters Paintner
Clarify your true hungers–and nourish your soul. Fasting is not just the physical practice of giving up food. Fasting can also be a way to combat our culture of endless distractions and busyness. Fasting is an act of letting go, of making more internal space to listen to the sacred whispers of our lives. Join Christine Valters Paintner, online abbess of Abbey of the Arts, on a spiritual journey through seven different kinds of fasts, including fasting from control, from our attachments, from ego-investment, and more. When we practice these fasts, we can discover unexpected spiritual gifts, as well as answers to deeper questions, leading us to ask: “What is my true hunger?” Perfect for Lent, or any period when a deeper intention to clarify your true hunger is needed, A Different Kind of Fast helps us enter our hearts, stripping away old patterns and habits. Featuring striking woodcuts from artist Kreg Yingst, the book draws on the wisdom of the desert elders, Paintner offers practical contemplative practices like lectio divina, breath prayer, visio divina, meditation with desert wisdom, contemplative walks, and creative rituals. As we fast from rushing, planning, being strong, holding it all together, seeking certainty, and control, we can softly reorient ourselves toward that which nourishes and fulfills us, for the reflective Lenten season and beyond.