Sarah Griffith Lund on Her 2016 Lent Devotional

The Fellowship of Prayer 2016 Lenten devotional was written by Sarah Griffith Lund, author of the acclaimed Blessed Are The Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church. We asked Sarah a few questions about this year’s Lent devotional. Here’s what she said:

SarahGriffithLund_FOP16Tell us about the theme for the Fellowship of Prayer 2016 Lenten devotional. How did this theme of “dreams and visions” come together? What inspired you?
The theme for the Fellowship of Prayer 2016 emerged out of my conversations with readers about my book Blessed are the Crazy. In the book I talk about my own personal fears and vulnerability to mental illness because bipolar disorder runs in my family. As a Christian and a spiritual person who has a relationship with God, I have experienced dreams and visions. But because of the history of mental illness in my family, I was reluctant to talk about my dreams and visions, because I was afraid people would think I was crazy. Yet, when I study Scripture and the writings of early Christian mystics, like St. John of the Cross and Julian of Norwich, their writings are filled with visions and dreams, encounters with the living God. So this Fellowship of Prayer is dedicated to exploring the visions and dreams of the Bible, in hopes of opening up conversations about how God continues to speak to us through our own dreams and visions. This theme comes out of encouragement by my readers to break the silence in the church about dreams and visions.

What did you learn through the writing of the Fellowship of Prayer 2016 Lenten devotional? What was your experience like during this project?
I was sincerely shocked by how saturated the Bible is with dreams and visions. I had never looked at the Scriptures through this particular lens before, and I was overwhelmed by the powerful stories of God breaking through ordinary time and visiting people in their dreams. I learned more about the nature of God’s communication, discovering that God historically and continually connects to us through dreams and visions. I learned to trust my own dreams and visions more, and found encouragement in the Scriptures for my own faith journey. Writing this devotional was a real gift to my spirit, deeply immersing me in Scripture, drawing me closer to the heart of God.

What do you hope readers of Fellowship of Prayer 2016 will gain from spending the 40 days of Lent walking through it?
I hope that readers will learn from the witness of Scripture about the ways that God seeks to be revealed to us. I believe that God continues to seek us out in our dreams and visions. Spending the 40 days of Lent walking through Biblical dreams and visions, readers will be encouraged to open themselves up to the Spirit of God … with the hope of transforming us with dreams and visions of new life.

Lent begins Ash Wednesday, February 10. The last day to order copies of Fellowship of Prayer 2016 for your personal use or for your church — in order to ensure delivery by/before Ash Wednesday — is Monday, February 1!

Brad Lyons is president and publisher of Chalice Press.