Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the church season of Lent, forty days (six weeks, not counting Sundays) when we are invited to prepare for Easter through reflection and repentance.
Often we give something up during Lent, to help us remember Jesus in those moments where we might turn to chocolate, TV, or other comforts. This year, instead of giving something up, I’m taking something on: the practice of reading a psalm or two each day. I’m thinking about it as preparation — getting myself ready to celebrate Easter by practicing rejoicing, practicing lamenting, practicing praising God in all circumstances.
I’m guiding my reading with the lectionary psalms selected for the Daily Office, prayers prayed regularly at different points in the day: morning prayer, noonday, evening prayer, and compline (the last prayer of the day, connected to the Latin word for fill up and the French for complete, for my fellow word-nerds). I like knowing that people around the world are reading and praying these same psalms each day — it feels like if I miss a day, someone’s got my back. I’m working on preparing, but it doesn’t all depend on me.
Maybe you’d like to join me? We’ll post the psalms for each week on Tuesdays. I’m feeling the freedom to read the psalm and let that be enough for the day — but maybe you’d like to think about writing a reflection, or a paraphrase, or taking a picture that represents some part of the psalm.
There’s so much good stuff at The Well about Lent, from reflections to reading guides to frustration. I encourage you to take a look.
You can find the psalms for the next week below. Depending on length, a few are chosen for morning and evening. I might get ambitious and read both some days, or just choose one on other days. I’m entering with a sense of freedom and grace, and a desire to connect with God’s word. Many blessings on your season of preparation.
Readings for February 26 - March 2, 2020