Whoa ho! Lent has snuck up on me this year. I can't remember it ever being this early. And suddenly it is time to hunker down and get serious about faith and whatnot. (Well, not before a fun Carnival pancake supper at my husband's church tonight. And hey -- I just learned that the word Carnival means "farewell to meat" -- the idea being that Shrove Tuesday was the last time old-school Catholics could eat meat for a good six weeks. Isn't that a cool etymology? I never gave that word any thought.)
As many of you know, Phil and I have tried many different kinds of Lenten sacrifices through the years -- giving up shopping, meat, sugar, chocolate, and I can't even remember what else. This year we are going to be listening to the New Testament for about a half hour each day. I am very impressed with the new audio Bibles-- fully scored dramatizations of the Bible done by casts of professional actors--and am looking forward to this time of focused reading (er, listening). I have already started listening to The Bible Experience from Zondervan, and will alternate between that and the new audio NT from Thomas Nelson. When it's all done I will be reviewing both Bible dramatizations for Books and Culture. Even though I've barely started, I can already tell you that listening to Scripture is an invaluable complement to reading it. The Bible was intended to be understood orally, not read silently or privately, and there's something uniquely powerful about these dramatized audio BIbles. They are completely different from the dry, stilted and-it-came-to-pass recorded books of yesteryear.
What are you doing for Lent this year?