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Lenten Listening – Introduction

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“So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

Have you ever found yourself lost in thought when your young child (or grandchild or other family member or friend) who has been talking to you, gently takes your chin in their hand and turns your face to theirs and says something like, “Mommy, are you listening to me?!” When my son was little, I remember him doing that to me on more than one occasion. Now, I find myself doing the same to my teenager: “Robin, are you listening to me?!”

The Apostle Paul’s letters read very much as a figurative turning of the chins of those – both Jews and Gentiles – whose attention he was seeking; in order that they would both listen and hear “the word of Christ;” in order that they might have faith. From what is believed to be his first letter (Thessalonians) to his last (Romans), Paul asked, appealed and even berated nascent, fractured, persecuted, faithful communities to listen, hear and then follow the “good news,” even as the time horizon of Christ’s second coming seemed to recede ever further into the distance.

As we enter into the season of Lent, PWRDF invites you to “turn your chin” and enter into a season of listening and hearing. Beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing each Sunday to Easter, you will receive an email with an audio recording of the day’s Gospel and an audio reflection responding to the Gospel by Archbishop Linda Nicholls and six other friends of PWRDF. (Written texts will also be provided.)

On each of the following three days, you will receive emails inviting you to listen to the gospel reading again and enter into your own time of reflection using Gospel-based Discipleship, the practice developed by the Anglican Church of Canada’s Indigenous Ministries. This practice asks you to reflect on one of three questions each day:

  • Monday – What words, ideas or phrases stand out for you?
  • Tuesday – What is Jesus/the Gospel saying to you?
  • Wednesday – What is Jesus/the Gospel calling you to do?

Thursday and Friday you will receive a PWRDF story connecting the gospel to examples of our work.

Saturday will be a day of sabbath rest, and a chance to reflect on all that you have heard in the days preceding. Your Saturday email will feature an illustration from American artist Rini Templeton, who, for 20 years “made drawings of activists in the US, Mexico and Central America… Her drawings also included workers, women and children, celebrations, scenes of town and country, many images from daily life.” In these illustrations may you find more connections between the Gospel and PWRDF. More about Rini and her work can be found at

May you listen, hear and journey well through Lent.

Suzanne Rumsey
Public Engagement Coordinator