Lent is the purple penitential season. A forty day walk in the wilderness. It begins with a call to repentance and with a reminder of our mortality (Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-21). Along the way, we hear the stories of Nicodemus (John 3: 1-17) and the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4: 5-12). We bear witness to the healing of a blind man (John 9: 1-47) and the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11: 1-45). These forty days conclude with the drama of Holy Week and the climactic joy of Easter.
Jesus has set his face towards Jerusalem with a cross on his back. This very human and very holy Jesus has very human and imperfect disciples straggling behind – folks like us. The road to Calvary is filled with trepidation and hope, pain and healing, love and rejection, life and death. And then life again.
So, plug in your earbuds! Here is a 40-day, 40-tune mixtape for Lent – a playlist with an aging hippy vibe. The songs are both sacred and secular and cross multiple genres: folk, blues, rock, gospel, Celtic tunes and spirituals. Featured artists include the likes of the Byrds; Peter, Paul & Mary; Patty Griffin; the Wailin’ Jennys; Rhiannon Giddens; The Blind Boys of Alabama; and Birdtalker.
This seasonal devotional includes each day’s song listed with its performer and lyrics. You can listen by following my playlist on Spotify, Fortify: A 40 Day Mixtape for Lent. You can follow on the app on your smartphone or listen by downloading Spotify onto your computer (if you don’t already have it!).
And if you worship at Emmanuel, paper copies will be available on the table at the back of the church.
Listen a day at a time. Shuffle the tunes. Binge listen if you like.
Sing to the Lord a new song, for God has done marvelous things.
— Joani Peacock, February 2020
The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog