40-days of reflection, prayer and anticipation of Easter


This Lent, give up what you can't see

Why are we so quick to see the faults of others while ignoring what is inside ourselves? This question that Jesus presented to his followers still pierces our hearts today, as we are prone to blame-shifting, de-humanizing and minimizing our own sin.
In Specks & Planks, we'll explore the things that often blind us - fear, greed, ambition, approval - so that we may open our eyes to who we are in light of God's grace. Containing essays, reflection questions, and poetry, our hope is that this guide will call you to approach God in prayer with honesty and repentance as you reflect on Christ's sacrifice leading up to Easter.
Pick up your copy of Specks & Planks at Sojourn East or download a printable version by clicking the button below.

Week by Week Summary

Specks & Planks was written and edited by folks here at Sojourn East who are working through the same questions they write about. We hope this Lent guide is helpful to you over the next 40-days as you go before the Lord in prayer and repentance, preparing yourself for Easter Sunday.


Week 1 - Blinded by darkness

by Sam Yong
David couldn’t see his sin, even when confronted by Nathan. His lack of repentance kept his heart hard and his eyes closed, even though his mind could discern right from wrong in others. Lacking repentance has devastating consequences in our life, yet we avoid it at all costs. Why do we look for specks before logs?

Week 2 - Blinded by greed

by Amy Simpson
Jesus calls the eye the lamp of the body in between a warning on materialism and money. We live in a culture where greed is a respectable sin, and don’t often think about the weight of its darkness. But the desire for more has been with us since the beginning. What will it take for contentment to take root in our hearts?

Week 3 - Blinded by approval

by Ben Mast
Jesus called Pharisees blind guides because they sought people’s approval more than God’s. We often think of the religious leaders as controlling legalists, but the motivating factor behind it was their desire to be validated by the crowd. If we're honest, we have more in common with them than we'd like to admit. How do we rest in the approval of God?

Week 4 - Blinded by fear

by Amanda Phillips
Jesus commands Peter to come out to him in the water. Peter, noticing the storm, takes his eyes off Jesus and begins to drown. In our present lives, there are more reasons to fear than we can count - and our society expects, even conditions, us to live out of that posture. In what ways does God invite us to rest in his goodness and set our focus on him?

Week 5 - Blinded by ambition

by Troy Harvey
Saul is traveling on a road paved by his own status and will when he is blinded by God. Spiritually, he needed to lose his sight in order to gain it. As we live our lives in obedience to God, we see this rehearsed over and over again as our power is confronted by his humility. How do we get to a point where, like Paul, we can say “whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ”?

Week 6 - Blinded by light

by Jenna Kleiser
As we near Good Friday, we recognize that there is a holy darkness we often neglect. Our need for optimism causes us to focus on having victory through Christ, that we forget to press into identifying with his death and burial as the means by which we overcome. How can we shed this spiritual triumphalism as we reflect on Jesus’ death?