In Lent 2020, Presbyterians across the country are invited to join a denomination-wide book study on N.T. Wright’s Lent for Everyone, Matthew, Year A.
Using thoughtfully prepared weekly study guides, Presbyterians will journey through Lent reflecting on what it means to be kingdom-people who participate in the new life that Jesus has brought.
Presbyterians Journeying Through Lent Together
Jesus’ proclamation throughout his ministry that “the Kingdom of Heaven is Near” has often been mistakenly interpreted as Jesus coming to “tell people how to get to heaven.” In truth, what Jesus was demonstrating through his presence and his teaching was that “heaven has come near to us.” Or, as N.T. Wright explains, that “the God of heaven and earth was coming to earth to establish his sovereign saving rule” (147).
N.T. Wright invites readers to explore this truth through Matthew’s telling of the gospel story. Through close readings of the lectionary texts for each day during Lent, Wright draws us into the biblical scenes as they unfolded, revealing more and more about what it means that Jesus is King and Lord, not just ‘in heaven’ but on earth as well.
In this study, we will follow the pattern that Wright establishes in his daily devotions of focusing both on how Jesus’ first followers would have heard this message and what it means for those of us who are hearing the message more than 2000 years later. We will be looking closely at the events of Jesus’ life from birth to death and resurrection not just as a faithful account of what happened in the past but, as Wright explains, as a “clue for how we should be living as followers of the risen Christ today” (151).
Inspirational Lenten Season Guide
Lent for Everyone provides readers with an inspirational guide through the Lenten season, from Ash Wednesday through the week after Easter.
Popular biblical scholar and author N. T. Wright provides his own Scripture translation, brief reflection, and a prayer for each day of the season, helping readers ponder how the text is relevant to their own lives.
By the end of the book, readers will have been through the entirety of Matthew, along with Psalm readings for each Sunday. Suitable for both individual and group study and reflection, Wright’s Lenten devotional will help make Matthew’s gospel your own, thoughtfully and prayerfully, and your journey through Lent a period of discovery and growth.
Study Guide Weekly discussion materials
How to Take Part
Start gathering interest in your congregation to journey together through the book. There are three ways people can participate in Presbyterians Read:
- Solo—Get a copy of Lent for Everyone and read the devotions each day;
- Small Group—Start or join a small group of people to work through the study guides by meeting to discuss what they’ve read once a week;
- Online in our Facebook Group—Join the discussion with other Presbyterians in our Facebook study group. All are welcome to join. The group is private and only the members in the group can see who’s in the group and what they post. Join the group here.
Ordering the Book
Order your copy of Lent for Everyone from your favourite online or local bookseller. Amazon sellers have stock but it is currently unavailable online at Chapters/Indigo.
Discounted copies are also available from Parasource Marketing & Distribution until February 7.
We are open to suggestions about other materials that may be helpful to you or your congregation as we engage in this book study. If you have any ideas or questions about Presbyterians Read, please email Emily Hill, Education Coordinator for Canadian Ministries, at call or 1-800-619-7301, ext. 271.
Presbyterians Read Lenten Study Guide Bibliography
Ahlberg Calhoun, Adele. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us.
InterVarsity Press, 2015.
Ehrman, Bart D. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.
Oxford U. Press, 2012.
Hall, Douglas John. Confessing the Faith: Christian Theology in a North American Context.
Fortress Press, 1998.
Hauerwas, Stanley. The Peaceable Kingdom. U. of Notre Dame Press, 1986.
Heidi Haverkamp, Holy Solitude: Lenten Reflections with Saints, Hermits, Prophets, and Rebels.
John Knox Press, 2017.
Kaybrill, Donald B. The Upside-Down Kingdom: Anniversary Edition. Herald Press, 2018
“The Kingdom of God.” The Bible Project. https://bibleproject.com/explore/gospel-kingdom/.
Wright, N.T. “The New Testament Doesn’t Say What Most People Think It Does About
Heaven.” Time, 16 Dec 2019, accessed online.
Wright, N.T. Lent for Everyone: Matthew, Year A. John Knox Press, 2011.