Holy Week is over and my Lenten journey has come to an end. Tomorrow I will eat, drink and be merry. Christ is risen indeed! For the most part. Not eating meat and drinking coffee hasn’t been too hard. My Holy Week bustled with visiting relatives and I bent my resolve a little and ate a roast with my family the last night they were here. With the busyness of my week I found that I didn’t have the energy to do many of the things I love during Holy Week. My wife and I love to host a Seder and talked about doing it this year, but we were busy tuesday and wednesday night and couldn’t do it then. We didn’t make it to a Maundy Thursday service because I needed to take an assessment for a job I’m applying for (and my wife couldn’t face it with three kids in tow. Good Friday I cam home from a day of work (and fasting), had dinner and fell asleep. But I am leading worship on Easter and have been working on music all week. So despite missing my yearly rituals, this week has still been sacred space for me.
Deeply Loved has been my devotional for the season of Lent. The 40 day format makes it an ideal for Lent, but the themes of this devotional are broader than ‘preparing your heart for Easter.’ Keri Wyatt Kent describes what it is like to be in relationship with the God who loves you deeply and she suggests “Presence Practices” to help you deepen your spiritual life. I found it fruitful reading this during Lent, but I think that this is a book that could be used as a devotional any time or season.
What I appreciate about this book is Keri Wyatt Kent’s graciousness. Kent challenges readers to partake in various spiritual disciplines: scripture meditation, reading, prayer, journaling, Sabbath rest, intercession, service, celebration, etc. Many of her suggestions will be challenging to a lot of people. But you never feel beat up by Kent. Her challenges are warm invitations to partake deeper in the with-God-life.
I also appreciate that Kent shares from her own experience of the spiritual life. Her reflections and “Presence Practices” are not commending a lifestyle left untried. Kent shares her own faith journey and the insights she has gained. There is a rootedness to her reflections.
Lastly I liked that this is a devotional with content. So much that passes for devotional literature is overly positivistic fluff. Kent draws on scripture and a number of writers on the Christian life to produce a devotional with depth. A number of authors I respect are noted in her daily reflections. I respect that!
I received a copy of this book from Abingdon Press and agreed to post a review. I also purchased a Kindle copy of this book and read from both copies, depending on where I was when I read it. I liked the physical copy better for this kind of book. There is space to check off your presence practice for the day and I find it easier to track with a physical copy for devotional literature.