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New Lenten devotional invites readers to pray with art


This Lent, awaken to God’s beauty

By Donna Frischknecht Jackson, Presbyterians Today editor | Special to Presbyterian News Service

The new 2019 Lenten Devotional from Presbyterians Today features 48 pages of sumptuous photography and reflections by the Rev. Krin Van Tatenhove.

The season of Lent — which begins March 6 with the observance of Ash Wednesday — has traditionally been a time to give up something, like chocolate or negative thinking. But rather than give up something over the next 40 days, why not try something new? Perhaps a new spiritual discipline? Presbyterians Today’s 2019 Lenten devotional invites you to do just that.  

Awakening to God’s Beauty: A Lenten Invitation to Pray with Art is a full-color, glossy devotional featuring the thoughtful writing and stunning photography of Krin Van Tatenhove. Van Tatenhove, a Presbyterian pastor for more than 30 years, co-authored Presbyterians Today’s 2018 Advent devotional, God Lifts the Lowly. He is also the co-author of the recently released book, Neighborhood Church: Transforming Your Congregation into a Powerhouse for Mission.

Rooted in the poetry of the Psalms, Awakening to God’s Beauty invites readers to explore the spiritual discipline of visio divina — which means “divine seeing.” Similar to that of the Benedictine practice of lectio divina — “divine reading” — where a word or phrase of Scripture is pondered, visio divina uses an image instead as the focus for meditation.

While Van Tatenhove’s photography is featured throughout the devotional, each Sunday, a guided meditation accompanies the photo, helping readers to “see with the eyes of the heart” a phrase coined by Presbyterian pastor and author, Frederick Buechner.

There is a guided “visio divina” meditation for each week of Lent, plus a daily Scripture reading and reflection for every day of the Lenten season.

Throughout the week, various Psalms, capturing the beauty of God’s creation, are explored in short reflections, followed by a prayer. Van Tatenhove chose the Psalms for this year’s Lenten devotion because of how they “express a full range of human emotions” and “more importantly, how they magnify God’s presence in our lives.”

“It was a joy for me to both write and photo-illustrate a Lenten journey through some of these timeless verses,” Van Tatenhove said. “I hope these devotions will enrich our experience of Lent, drawing us closer to God and each other.”

Awakening to God’s Beauty: A Lenten Invitation to Pray with Art is a 40-day visual and spiritual adventure, filled with beautiful original photographs that will open eyes of the heart. Order online at for delivery before Lent. 48 pages, 8 x 10½″ on heavy glossy paper. Single copy, $5; 2-9 copies, $3.75 each; 10-99 copies, $2.75; 100 or more, $2.15.

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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