It’s Monday! A new morning with new mercies, a new week with new opportunities to lean on Jesus and lean into the gospel of grace. (I say that so nonchalantly, but goodness! What if we did?!) A gospel-filled week—that’s what I’m praying for you today, and for all of us on this side of the screen, too.
We had so much fun announcing our next two reading plans last week—a week of Hymns, followed by two weeks in the book of Esther. (We’re so excited about both!) And, believe it or not, it’s time for another BIG announcement! It’s literally the biggest plan and book we’ve ever assembled, and we are so exhausted-slash-excited! (All the best stuff takes the most work, doesn’t it?)
Introducing the She Reads Truth study for Lent 2015:
“Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross”
It’s hard to put into words how much this year’s Lent reading plan already means to us as a team. I have actual tears in my eyes as I type this! We have worked for weeks putting together a thoughtful, challenging and Gospel-focused journey for the 47 days of the Lenten season, and the process itself has been amazing (dare I say “Spirit-filled”?).
We have prayed and wept, and we’ve laughed and we’ve sung! We’ve poured back and forth and back and forth through pages of Scripture and marveled at the heartache, beauty and redemption of the Cross. We’ve dug through hymnals and old sermons, and scribbled pages of notes so we wouldn’t forget the incredible lyrics and quotable words of the men and women of God who have gone before us.
What God created through this time of worship and study (and looooottss of rounds of editing and design!) is something we truly cannot wait to share with you.
Many of you may be unfamiliar with Lent, and that is okay! Lent is a season on the Church calendar which sets aside time for believers to focus on the sacrifice and salvation of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Traditionally, Lent is 47 days long—40 days of fasting and repentance beginning on Ash Wednesday, plus 7 “feast days” on the 7 Sundays leading up to, and including, Easter Sunday. Different cultures and congregations observe Lent in various ways. We at She Reads Truth have one simple, prayerful desire as we approach and walk through this upcoming study together: come to the Scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to help us grasp the weight of our sin and the wealth of Christ’s salvation.
“Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross” is a 47-day study that will begin on February 18 and end April 5. Individually and as a community, we will engage in three separate but related phases of Scripture reading and prayer:
1. Return: Come to the Cross // Twelve days of invitation and reflection on the history and purpose of Lent, the heart of fasting and repentance, and the example of Jesus.
2. Repent: The Book of Lamentations // Fourteen days of prayer and repentance as we read through the book of Lamentations, Psalms of repentance and forgiveness, and words of restoration from the prophet Isaiah.
3. Remember: Christ’s Path to the Cross // Twenty-one days of gospel stories and fulfilled prophecies chronicling Jesus’ journey to the Crucifixion and finally—gloriously!—the Resurrection.
We will take a long, hard look at our sin, and we will grieve at the sight of it. (You guys, this is real stuff. It is THE stuff.) And we will lock our gaze on Jesus, the One who rescues us from death and despair! As individuals and as a community,we will put into practice these instructions from 18th century Scottish minister Robert Murray M’Cheyne:
“For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely.”
As with every She Reads Truth study, you are invited to participate completely free of charge on our site or by email every single day! We want you to join us without hinderance! Additionally, if you’d prefer the convenience of our iOS or Android app, join us there with all of the scriptures right there in front of you (we are adding a couple of new translations this month!)—it’s just a few dollars to join us that way, only enough to keep the app maintained, and it breaks down to about $.06/day.
The third–super optional, but also super special—way to join us is with the resource we’ve created: a 140-page, full-color book that includes all of the Scripture for each day, hymns with lyrics or sheet music, gorgeous artwork (including hand lettering by Bekah Wertz of High Fancy Paper), fantastic quotes, and plenty of space to journal or write out prayers every day. There’s even a great Hot Cross Buns recipe in there for Easter morning!
For those of you who used the “O, Come Let Us Adore Him” book for Advent, think that, but bigger! We’ve printed more copies this time in hopes that we won’t sell out quite so quickly—we want it to be available to everyone who wants it!
The 8×10, soft (super-soft!) cover book can be purchased alone, or as a study pack. A “study pack” is simply the book plus 2- 8×10 art prints, and 3 mini scripture cards for sharing, memorizing, or bookmarking (the cards are soft-coated like the cover, so they will last and stay nice for a long time!).
And for those of you who read all the way to the end, we’d love to offer you $5 off while we are still in pre-order mode! Just use code “NearTheCross” at checkout for $5 off Lent study packs through Wednesday. (It’s your best chance to claim one this week, for sure.)
We look forward to doing the good, hard work of seeking the Lord while He may be found—and we’re so so grateful to get to do it together!