One of my deep heart desires (some would call it an unrealistic obsession) is for believers to pay as much attention to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as we do to the incarnation. All three are the climax of God’s wonderful rescue plan, but we tend to flow with our culture and put a lot of time and energy into Christmas and little into Easter.
One of the things I want to do this year to increase awareness is to suggest a reading plan for the forty days before Easter. I’ve looked at a lot of these and settled on one called ‘Lent for Everyone’ which is a read-through of the Gospel of Matthew and a commentary by N. T. Wright, one of the premiere New Testament scholars of our day, and a good writer. You may not agree with absolutely everything Tom Wright says: I don’t. But in the context of preparing for Easter I think you’ll find his words a blessing: he has the same emphasis on the kingdom that I’m going to be looking at during Easter week.
“Lent for Everyone” is available on www.youversion.com (reading plans). There are several ways to use youversion: if you have a smart phone (iphone, android, Blackberry) you can download the youversion Bible app (a good one!) and then sign up to the Lent for Everyone reading plan. When you open the app on your phone it will show you that day’s reading. Alternately, you can register at the web site, and whenever you go to the web site, it will give you a link to that day’s reading.
In addition to the readings themselves I will be blogging every day with a daily link to the site, a link to the Bible text on Biblegateway.com, and a link to the audio. Finally, I will be making a short comment of my own, and possibly linking to a youtube video or other related media. But the feature will be N. T. Wright’s devotionals. If you want a paper copy of “Lent for Everyone” you can purchase it on Amazon. (Get ‘Matthew Year A’ not ‘Mark Year B’)