Do you buy Lenten devotionals but find the process of following them too dry, too big, too small, or too boring?
Do you want to enliven your Lent with holy and literary thoughts?
Do you look into your soul and find a whole bunch of fiction?
If you answered yes, then this is the book club for you!
Several years ago, an acquaintance nearby started a book club and some literature-loving friends invited me along for the ride. We’ve continued to meet monthly, excepting holiday months, and moved from long form novels like Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Kristin Lavarnsdatter to short stories and novellas.
The format works, and I want to bring it into the Lenten sphere with a handful of works that can deepen our hearts and minds and help us reflect on the things that matter most.
Lent begins March 2 on Ash Wednesday.
It ends April 14 on Holy Thursday.
Here’s the plan.
- You read along.
- I’ll write some thoughts.
- You comment on the post with your thoughts on the website or Facebook and we can all respond to each other.
- If you want keep thoughts to yourself, that works!
- If you want to discuss it with other friends in real life rather than online, that works!
- The field is open, so let’s have some fun and think some thoughts.
To participate, read these works by these days:
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Enduring Chill by Flannery O’Connor
The Gifts of the Christ Child by George Macdonald
The Death of Ivan Illych by Leo Tolstoy
Death be not Proud by John Donne
Read the text online or find it in many poetry anthologies
The Last Supper Discourses
Gospel of John, Chapter 14-17, read it in your own bible or online.
Naturally, you can find all these works on Amazon as well, but if you are not already familiar with Book Shop, it’s a great website that work to support small, local bookshops.
Now, the questions for each reading
- How does the main character or characters encounter the transcendent or divine?
- What is their reaction to it?
Except for the April 13 reading
- In Holy Week we are invited to encounter the Crucified Christ. In this encounter, he comes into our story.
- On top of considering others’ reactions to Christ, what is your response to the Last Supper Discourses?
- How does it move you?
- The best stories show rather than tell. Does it move you to action beyond reflection?
Each week I’ll post a reflection here and on Facebook and we’ll take it from there! Comment below or send me a message if you plan to join in!