Jesus invited his disciples to be with him in Gethsemane as he struggled with his own hour of death. These Lenten devotions are intended to help us do just that: to be with Jesus in his hour(s) facing dying—not just as observers, but as fellow mortals, with all of our own fears and anxieties.
The daily exposure and interaction with texts of Scripture related to Jesus’ own dying will bring the reader into close interaction with Jesus and biblical sources of promise and hope. Through these devotionals, you and Jesus will be together in that place that you most intimately and equally share: dying. But it will be an encounter of hope, not despair; joy, not grief; vision, not disillusion.
Lent is a time to know Jesus better. And perhaps to know ourselves better in the process. This disciplined pilgrimage begins with Jesus’ life and takes us through his death and the stunning implications of that death for each of us. This is a profoundly human story of the human Jesus, living and dying to help us live our lives in fuller knowledge of who we are and who he is.
Death’s mystery looms at the end of each life. Without some sense of it, we cannot put our lives in context. Goldsmith does not answer death with pious platitudes. He gives us multiple stories touching, probing, interrogating death from every angle. Lenten reflection on these devotions will give a sense of death that undergirds the courage to live fully and faithfully.
—Dan Edwards, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada
Dale’s voice strikes, catches, and safeguards the reader who would ordinarily fear their own heartbeat in reflecting on death. The cadence of his voice is genuinely meditative because he has lived through the realities of grief and followed his own life’s roots into a deeper Life than most of us ever fathom. The reader need not wait until the season of Lent to read these daily encouragements; today is a fine day to face and open one’s life.
——Gray Matthews, The University of Memphis
“In this beautiful and compellingly written book of Lenten devotions, Dale Goldsmith keeps our eyes focused on dying. In the long pilgrimage through this reflective season, we gaze upon our own death, the deaths of others, and, most of all, Jesus' death. As we come ever nearer to Easter, we are at last enabled to lift the hymn of the saints, ‘God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more.’
——Thomas G. Long, Candler School of Theology
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Dale Goldsmith is an ordained Presbyterian minister and received his MA and PhD in New Testament studies from the University of Chicago. He taught college students for many years and was also an academic dean. He and his wife Katy (also a college professor) have four children and five grandchildren for whom this book was originally conceived. Goldsmith is also the author of New Testament Ethics (1988) and, in conjunction with Dr. Fred Craddock and daughter Dr. Joy Goldsmith, Speaking of Dying: Recovering the Church’s Voice in the Face of Death (2012).