” . . .What you hold in your hand is a collection of her observations of the way God has imprinted his entire creation with the secret of the Cross: Life choosing to die so that new life can be born. Birth, death, and resurrection, written both large and small . . .”
~ Kathy Keller (from her Foreword to Parables of the Cross)
Lent – the six week period leading up to Resurrection Sunday – begins today, Ash Wednesday. At its core, Lent is a time for Christians to reflect, repent, and pray as a way of preparing our hearts for Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s an opportunity for us to contemplate what our Lord really did for us on the cross. Parables of the Cross is a wonderful resource to do just that, with its opening statement and underlying premise: “Death is the Gateway to Life.”
As we officially begin our journey to the cross via the Parables of the Cross Lenten Study Guide, we reached out to Jane Parsons Frazier – the author of this guide – for tips in using her resource in the weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday. Here are her suggestions:
Ash Wednesday – Make sure you have the following on hand: the book, Parables of the Cross; the study guide, which you might print or read on your device; your Bible; and a notebook. Use these next few days to prepare by reading the Study Guide Introduction.
For each of the six weeks of Lent – beginning this Sunday (or Monday), with week six being Holy Week – Jane suggests the following format for each of the six lessons:
Day 1: Read the Section Summary. Then read the assigned pages. Jot down some initial impressions. Ask God to give you insight into the idea of dying to self and what that might mean in your life. Note those as well.
Day 2: Read the Scripture passages. Make notes of any insights. If you find this topic hard, note your questions as well. Read and respond to the questions given. You will see that the questions correspond to the scripture.
Day 3: Re-read the Parables of the Cross pages that are noted. Then read and respond to the questions.
Day 4: Review your responses of the previous readings. You may want to re-read the scripture passages. Then read the quotes for further consideration.
Day 5: Use the hymn given and others you can think of for a time of worship and reflection. Ask God to help you understand the ideas given and apply them to your life. Read again any of the scriptures or other favorite readings from this lesson.
Days 6 and 7: Enjoy God. Worship Him as your Father. Thank Him for his many gifts. Perhaps get out in nature to see what God has created. You may also want to view more of Lilias’ artwork at liliastrotter.com (or on the Lilias Trotter Legacy Facebook page). Ask Him what He especially wants you to learn through this Lenten study.