Engaging Lent 2023 as an intentional pilgrimage: My invitation

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.” 

John 8:31
– author Derek Maul

In just a few days, February 22, people all over the Earth will pause to note that it is Ash Wednesday, and they will begin – with varying degrees of interest and commitment – the 47 day Lenten journey to Easter.

If you enjoy pancakes, then you may (like me) start counting on Shrove Tuesday. And if (like me) you don’t believe Easter Sunday is the end of the story but instead only just beginning, then you will want to keep engaged with resurrection on Easter Monday.

All told, my guide through the season of Lent adds up to 49 days. Or, as I told my publisher when they suggested I add another day to make an even 50, “In the Bible, seven is the perfect number; 49 is seven times seven, perfection multiplied by perfection!”

Perfection or not, I’d like to invite you to read REACHING TOWARD EASTER, and use the devotional book as your spiritual guide for Lent 2023.


This excerpt from the introduction sets the tone:

Easter, like Christmas, has fallen victim to our cultural penchant for sucking meaning from significant Christian holidays and replacing that meaning with values rooted in consumerism, humanism, and our incessant demand to be entertained.

We routinely adapt our faith and practices to fit more neatly into the cultural norm, rather than inviting Jesus to be the catalyst for change both in and through our lives. As a result, we often arrive at Good Friday having missed the focused opportunity Lent provides to share in the original disciples’ experiences of sitting at table with Jesus, walking the dusty path from Bethany to the very gates of Jerusalem, observing, and listening closely to the Master’s words of grace and hope and challenge.

This book offers a devotional pilgrimage through Lent, using the framework of John’s narrative as a daily guide. Together we will journey from Ash Wednesday through Holy Week, on to Resurrection Sunday, and then to the challenge for the rest of our lives – the challenge to live as “Easter People” in the real world…

Derek Maul, Reaching Toward Easter


I plan to try, at least once a week, to keep this conversation alive here in this blog. If you want to talk more about the book, shoot me a message.

We have a lot of choices when it comes to how we approach our preparation for Easter, and several tens of thousands have been blessed by REACHING TOWARD EASTER over the past few years.

Reading my book is one good option, but of course there are others. The only option I would urge against is that of ignoring Lent altogether.

Regardless, this is an important journey well worth taking – DEREK

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