There are plenty of reasons to feel anxious at this point in human history. There is no shortage of justifications for choosing the most expedient courses of action, accumulating as much excess as we can, and exploiting others and the Earth’s natural resources to ensure that we are as safe and comfortable as we can be. We all know the siren call of these temptations. They are the foundation of most of our global culture and it can be hard to resist them when we are constantly being told that they are the only way to find a good life.
But every one of the great challenges facing our world at this time can be traced back to these temptations. The widening gap between the rich and the poor, the climate crisis, the polarisation and conflict in so many parts of the globe, the cost-of-living crisis, the breakdown of our relationships and our growing sense of isolation from one another can all be linked with our tendency to choose quick fixes, self-protection, pain avoidance, thoughtless consumption of fossil fuels and natural resources, and our exploitation of others for our personal benefit.
So, what difference can observing a season like Lent make to these overwhelming struggles?
What solutions can the Lenten journey offer us? How can the Lenten disciplines lead us into the necessary changes—personally and collectively—that can begin to reverse the self-destructive trajectory that humanity is now on?
As naïve as it may sound, I believe that Lent, with its intentional practice of the disciplines of authenticity through prayer, generosity through giving, and simplicity through fasting is able to provide us with a guide to a healthier, more sustainable way of being. And, while we may not be able to change the world, Lent can show us how, by making small changes in our personal and collective attitudes and actions, we can make a meaningful contribution to changing our world.
And that’s why I am so thrilled to introduce you to this new Liturgical Guide for Lent from Sacredise:
The Simple Way
How simplicity can save us and our world
Based on the Lectionary readings for Year B from the Hebrew Scriptures and the Gospels, The Simple Way reveals the wisdom of Jesus’ way of simplicity and how the Lenten disciplines of prayer (which teaches us authenticity), giving (which teaches us generosity), and fasting (which teaches us simplicity) can lead us into a more meaningful, sustainable, and life-giving way of being.
The Simple Way is a guide for worship and daily devotion and a manual for learning to live simply and justly in our daily routines. It explains the meaning and power of the Lenten journey and the disciplines that accompany it. And it gives practical guidelines for aligning our lives with the values and priorities of God’s reign. This means that it is both a perfect preparation for the Holy Week and Easter celebrations to come and a transforming companion for the Lenten journey with Jesus through the wilderness of temptation.