Now that Lent Madness is well underway, brackets are getting busted left and right. Mechtild of Magdeburg easily knocked Isaac the Syrian out of the running (77% to 23%) in yesterday's battle, the only Saturday contest of the season. Come back tomorrow, as the week starts off with John Wycliffe vs. Moses the Black at eight o'clock in the morning, sharp.
Of course, we at Lent Madness HQ hope that you have adopted a Lenten devotion beyond the madness. There are many ways to make good use of this Lenten season of repentance and renewal. You might cultivate habits of daily prayer or study. You might be more intentional about serving the poor or sharing of your abundance with those in great need. Obviously, if you're playing Lent Madness, you haven't given up the internet, and we don't suggest that (but if that's what you need, go for it!).
If you're looking for some help to get through Lent, there is still lots of time. Forward Movement, the official sponsor of Lent Madness has loads of resources to help you on the journey.
New this year, Ashes and the Phoenix brings together daily meditations, powerful poetry by Len Freeman, and Jason Sierra’s inspiring woodcut art on your Kindle, Nook, or iBook device. If you are looking for a resource focused on mission outreach and social justice, check out Meeting Jesus on the Margins (Kindle, Nook, or iBook), featuring meditations from Becca Stevens, Mike Kinman, and our own Hugo Olaiz, among other excellent writers.
At this time in our national life, when there has been much conversation about refugees, even as the number of displaced persons continues to rise around the globe, we invite you to engage this season in A Season of Prayer: 40 Days in the Desert. Each day will offer a prayer or scripture reading focused on themes of hospitality, migration, and refugee welcome.
And, of course, we would be remiss if we didn't mention Forward Day by Day. This venerable daily devotional is ready by hundreds of thousands of people around the world every day. You can read it online, find it on Facebook or Twitter, subscribe to print, or get it delivered to your email inbox. There's also a podcast.
Whatever you do, we encourage you to take on a spiritual discipline for the season. If you've already done that, terrific. If not, you're not alone and it's not too late. In fact, it's never too late with God. Isn't that great news? Grace abounds!
Speaking of abounding, competition abounds too, so get a good night's rest so you're ready for the big day tomorrow as the first full week of Lent Madness 2017 kicks off. Happy Lent!