Lent: The Season of Repentance and Renewal, By Esau McCaulley
  • Length: 112 pages
  • Dimensions: 5 × 7 in
  • Published: November 08, 2022
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: A0048
  • ISBN: 9781514000489

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"Lent is inescapably about repenting." Every year, the church invites us into a season of repentance and fasting in preparation for Holy Week. It's an invitation to turn away from our sins and toward the mercy and grace of Christ.

Often, though, we experience the Lenten fast as either a mindless ritual or self-improvement program. In this short volume, priest and scholar Esau McCaulley introduces the season of Lent, showing us how its prayers and rituals point us not just to our own sinfulness but also beyond it to our merciful Savior.

Each volume in the Fullness of Time series invites readers to engage with the riches of the church year, exploring the traditions, prayers, Scriptures, and rituals of the seasons of the church calendar.

"Lent requires preparation, and this book shows us how to do just that. Esau McCaulley's Lent is an invitation to live into the Scriptures, practices, and prayers of Lent afresh, calling and equipping us to experience the gravity of sin, but also the expanse of God's grace and mercy. Whether you are a new or seasoned observer of Lent, this book is invaluable preparation to live into the contrition and true repentance to which this holy season invites us."

Teesha Hadra, rector of Church of the Resurrection Los Angeles and author of Black and White: Disrupting Racism One Friendship at a Time

"Esau McCaulley has given Christ-followers a gift. But like all gifts, you have to receive it and open it up. In Lent: The Season of Repentance and Renewal, Esau updates the ancient pathway of Lent so we can connect deeper with Jesus, his church, and his kingdom."

Derwin L. Gray, author of How to Heal Our Racial Divide: What the Bible Says, and the First Christians Knew, about Racial Reconciliation

"Esau McCaulley is a gift. He is the rare blend of a first-rate mind married to a huge heart for God and neighbor. This neighborliness comes out in two ways. As a public theologian writing for the New York Times and others, Esau shows his ability to provide clear thinking at the intersection of church and culture. In Lent: The Season of Repentance and Renewal, Esau shows his pastor's heart, his love for the church, and his passion to help Christians grow in faith. I commend Lent to everyone who is curious about, or committed to, the practice of Lent in their local church."

Todd Hunter, Anglican bishop and author of Deep Peace: Finding Calm in a World of Conflict and Anxiety

"Christians who might have thought Lenten observance was for somebody else will want to let Esau McCaulley guide them into the promise of this church season. Saturated with biblical wisdom, McCaulley's practical guide is the perfect introduction to newcomers to this practice of self-examination and renewal. Moving beyond the superficiality of 'giving something up,' McCaulley takes us into the life-giving purposes for which our forebears offered this gift."

Garwood Anderson, dean of Nashotah House Theological Seminary

"Esau McCaulley says in this book that 'God's grace meets us again and again.' It's a timely message for the church and the reader. May we be renewed as we repent, and may God meet us on this journey again and again."

Heather Thompson Day, author of It's Not Your Turn


The Fullness of Time: Series Preface
We Must Repent: An Introduction to Lent

1. Facing Death, Finding Hope: Ash Wednesday
2. What Do These Things Mean?: The Rituals of Lent
3. What We Have Received: The Prayers and Scriptures of Lent
4. He Loved Us to the End: Holy Week



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Esau McCaulley

Esau McCaulley (PhD, St. Andrews) is associate professor of New Testament at Wheaton College and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He is the author of Reading While BlackSharing in the Son's Inheritance, and numerous articles in outlets such as Christianity Today, The Witness, and The Washington Post.