Lenten Study Guide

Lenten Study Guide


Board of Church & Society

12/29/2015

Where is the gospel of Jesus’ cross revealed today?

Lenten Study Guide ready for Ash Wednesday!

The Conference Board of Church and Society has prepared a Study Guide for Lent which is both an appropriate seasonal spiritual devotion and, at the same time, a means of raising awareness of a number of social justice issues.

Lent (it's early this year!)  is the time of the liturgical year when all Christians are most apt to pause for reflection and discernment.  Many churches see an increase in the numbers who are willing to undertake some kind of “study” or adult Christian education.  Dr. James Cone’s book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, is a perfect fit for a Lenten study because it ponders deeply our primary Christian symbol, the Cross, yet also intersects with contemporary social justice issues.
Dr. Cone notices that over the course of 2,000 years the cross has been “transformed into a harmless, non-offensive ornament…rather than reminding us of the “cost of discipleship” (p. xiv).  Cone helps us face the question, “Where is the gospel of Jesus’ cross revealed today?” (p. 163)  Not only does he delve into theological issues of atonement, suffering and theodicy, but he also connects the cross to America’s  history in terms of civil rights, lynching, and current abuses in the criminal justice system.

The CBCS Study Guide provides discussion questions and reflections, prayers, hymns, and an introductory video of Dr. Cone himself speaking on the topic, taken from a sermon he gave at the 2012 General Conference.  The book is quite short, consisting of six chapters, which works well for the six weeks of Lent.
Click here to download a copy of this Study Guide.
Contact Sheila Peiffer at churchandsociety@nyac-umc.com for more information!