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“Lent is strange because Easter is strange.” So begins author Tsh Oxenreider’s invitation to journey through the season of Lent to Easter with daily Scripture readings, short meditations, questions for reflection, prayers, songs, and artwork. For most of Oxenreider’s adult life, she was perplexed by Lenten practices and wondered, “Why bother observing Lent? After all, it’s not in the Bible, and Jesus never told us to do it.”  

Only when Oxenreider began to experience a more liturgical approach to the Christian life and started reading the words of ancient Christians who espoused the practice of Lent did she begin to “feel the need for Lent in my bones” and realize that “it may be an antiquated tradition, but our modern culture needs it now more than ever.”  

Oxenreider frames up her devotions by exploring the three traditional pillars of Lent—fasting, almsgiving, and prayer—and the seven deadly vices and their corresponding holy virtues. Oxenreider explains, “The merciful gift of Lent is that we’re continually reminded that because of the power of Jesus’s resurrection, we’re not sentenced to life’s muck and mire for all eternity. One day we’ll sit at a table with room enough for everyone, toasting our glasses and feasting with the King of kings. … The fruits of daily, ordinary virtues are sweet samples of this heavenly table, set out and waiting for us in the kingdom of God.” 

Oxenreider, who also wrote Shadow and Light: A Journey into Advent, once again offers readers a challenging, yet grace-filled resource. Challenging because, Oxenreider acknowledges, “God’s call for us is not an easy life.” Grace-filled because, she points out, “Your lifelong journey is letting God complete the good work. All our good works are done through his grace, including the spiritual workout of Lent." (Harvest House Publishers)

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