Journeying through Lent: with New Daylight
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Daily Bible readings and group study material.
Eight weeks of Lent material for church groups and individuals, offering themed reflections by well-loved contributors from the New Daylight archive alongside specially written questions for group discussion.
Neat, satisfying, small-sized glossy booklet containing daily readings and a page of group questions for each of eight sessions:
1 and 2: Feasting and fasting – Helen Julian CSF
3 and 4: The sermon on the mount – Rachel Boulding
5 and 6: Jesus’ wisdom in Luke – Stephen Cottrell
7: 1 Corinthians 13 – Tony Horsfall
8: From upper room to Easter Day – Brother Ramon SSF
With an introduction by New Daylight editor Sally Welch
Adult, Growing, Beginning, Enquiring, small groups, individual.
Thought-provoking contributions for a meaningful journey through Lent – practical, inspiring, challenging and God-centred.
The introduction gives suggestions for group use; each daily reading and reflection is nicely laid out on two pages.
Interesting suggestions at the start of the book give ideas for use as a group. While including time for prayer and discussion as you would expect, it actually suggests four ways of using the daily material for a group, so that a session looks like: Introduction and welcome; Opening prayer – using a way of praying that is familiar to the group, with perhaps a song or hymn too; Discussion – either as a whole group or split into smaller units. This discussion is to share reactions to the week’s reflections; Forum – teasing out some common themes among the reactions; Reflection – focusing on the specific day’s reading that the writer chose, and responding to these study questions quietly and together in smaller units; Plenary – feedback to the whole group, and summarising the responses; Prayer – silent and open prayer.
A fairly confident leader who can make the most of the flexible context of this resource.
Nice length of daily readings, with the scripture included, plus a prayer or question at the end of each. There is a Next Steps section at the end, which invites the reader to summarise their journey through Lent, and then engage with some creative suggestions for how to move on, ranging from prayer journals to mapping your spiritual road to date, and aspirations.
Keep up with the daily readings, and decide how to best to facilitate the material with your group. Prepare any extra resources, such as songs or even a small whiteboard to collect the groups’ responses.
Considering that this is based around daily bible readings for individuals, the group study suggestions look like they would work very well, and enhance private reading time. From prayer to the varied ways of discussion and engagement with the material and questions, this is a flexible resource that would encourage the group members to join in.
Reading, discussion, prayer, sharing with another – while the daily readings are of a doable length, the group would need to be happy to actually do them.
The material is very accessible and doesn’t make too many assumptions about where people are at in relation to the Christian journey – hence it would suit a wide range of people, certainly those Beginning and Growing, and perhaps even Enquirers. For the latter it would be an interesting way to learn about the things Jesus said and did, and how they apply today.
This is not a particular focus, but it certainly encourages people to take action one way or another, in response to the material – whether in attitude, thought or steps forward.
Most. The material covers the sermon on the mount from Matthew; Jesus’ sayings form Luke; the peon to love from I Corinthians 13; and some of the biblical attitudes towards feasting and fasting form across the scriptures.
Each reading is printed in full in the booklet; each reflection is based and focused on it.
The various authors are grounded in reality as they explore their themes, both drawing us closer to biblical truths and also acknowledging the profound challenges and glorious freedoms they bring.
Implicit range, with the different backgrounds of the writers.
Great stuff – exploring how our allegiance to Jesus affects everything from the food we eat, to the way we treat others, to the way we pray. The Lord’s Prayer pops up twice, from slightly different angles.
Each writer brings a different slant to their encouragement to grow in faith; but each one writes from some experience. This makes it feel possible for us too. There are deep challenges to prioritise true integrity rather than hang on to our preference for bolstering our own egos and self-esteem.
Wonderfully inspiring and challenging, from the reminder that God’s invitation to us is always to abundance; and that putting him first will lead us into adventure and true security, rather than insisting on our ‘rights’ all the time. This is the God who, incredibly, serves us…
The ‘fasting and feasting’ section is particularly strong on examining our relationship to food, and looking at it in different ways, whether that food is actual or spiritual. The section through Holy Week encourages us to hang on to our trust in God through even the darkest of times – we only have to ask for God’s help.
The invitation of the kingdom is open to all, and seen through our words and actions.
The resource reminds us again and again that it is love that communicates – and that it is practical, real and forgiving.
Implicit but not a focus.
Implicit, with some examples given of those who have given all to enable mission, even to giving up their lives.
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