Looking through my past journals and Bible study notebooks, they are full of butterflies. I often think of them as useful symbols of my life with God: the result of miraculous ongoing transformation, yet still easily blown off course; able to fly high on occasion, but at times harking back to caterpillar behaviours! They have also become a symbol of climate change: UK species such as Blues and Fritillaries are responding to the subtle increases in temperature by pupating earlier and are in danger of getting out of synch with their food sources. They are rich metaphors for us in so many ways.
Perhaps it was no surprise that as I was praying about Lent 2020, using watercolour inks as part of the process, I ended up with a page of butterflies. Unlike my usual style of bright colours, this page was rather subdued. I’d used gilding wax and sparkle gel but the tone was sombre. I had planned to write a Lent course with an environmental theme suitable for Eco-congregations, aimed at helping us think Biblically about the current climate crisis but it was struggling to get onto the page in way that others could use.
As I looked at the page in my sketchbook, I realised that some of my despair and grief, alongside the trust and hope that I practice as a Christian had got into those butterflies as I was praying about our planet and the new Lent course.
Suddenly it all became clear: the course would include a sweep of Biblical texts from Genesis to Revelation, starting with Creation, and working through the destruction of the Flood, the poetry of the Psalms, the prophecies in Isaiah, the coming of Christ and the promises of a new Heaven and a new Earth. Like an egg hatching into a caterpillar and ending up as a butterfly! These are challenging texts, controversial in many ways, but full of ancient wisdom if we negotiate them wisely. How exciting to have groups up and down the country discussing, praying and journalling with such powerful material!
What has emerged is a set of 18 studies, 3 for each of the 6 weeks of Lent. They come in the form of a study journal which can be used by groups or individuals, for prayer, discussion, creative journaling or all of these. You can get the journals singly, or in a group pack, with or without craft materials for creative journalling. Each page has a Bible reading, a short commentary, suggestions for prayer and discussion, a creative journalling prompt and space to add your response in words or pictures.
The Introduction to the study journal says:
“We live on a beautiful planet. The Bible suggests that it was made by God and given to us as a home to enjoy and care for. In this current age of climate emergency, what is our response as God’s people of today, as individuals, as churches, and as part of the wider world? These studies are designed to help us explore some of the issues from a Biblical point of view, and to journal, think, pray, and work out what we can do about it.”
Get your copy here
Get the full journalling kit here
Get a set of journals for your group at a discount here
Creative journalling materials pack for groups coming soon
I’ll be running a half-day retreat for Lent using some of the course material in Edinburgh on Saturday 7th March 2020 10am-1pm.
Email Jane to reserve your place or for more info.
Watch an introduction video with Jane here: