“Lent” by Esau McCauley is the first in the Fullness of Time series which sets out to be “reflections on the moods, themes, rituals, prayers, and Scriptures that mark each season. These are not, strictly speaking, devotionals. They are theological and spiritual reflections that seek to provide spiritual formation by helping the reader live fully into the practices of each season.” what I expected wasn’t quite what I read though. It is a lovely short read detailing the key milestones of Lent and the accompanying meaning and practices but predominately from an Anglican perspective referencing regularly the scriptures and rituals they go through.
Esau brings to the topic his insights and reflections but far less so than I was hoping having loved “Reading While Black”. If Lent is unfamiliar to you, this is a gentle invitation to take part. If you are Anglican or have been a part of the rituals but they felt like an item on a to-do list, this book will give you context and encouragement to engage in them. For me, it’s a four out of five, I didn’t gain as much from it as I hoped but appreciate it’s value to others.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from InterVarsity Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in these reviews are completely my own.
From the back cover:
“Lent is inescapably about repenting.” Every year, the church invites us into a season of repentance and fasting in preparation for Holy Week. It’s an invitation to turn away from our sins and toward the mercy and grace of Christ. Often, though, we experience the Lenten fast as either a mindless ritual or self-improvement program. In this short volume, priest and scholar Esau McCaulley introduces the season of Lent, showing us how its prayers and rituals point us not just to our own sinfulness but also beyond it to our merciful Savior. Each volume in the Fullness of Time series invites readers to engage with the riches of the church year, exploring the traditions, prayers, Scriptures, and rituals of the seasons of the church calendar.