A group of students gathered inside Bodman Lounge during Lent the past couple of Sundays to discuss Can You Drink the Cup? by Henri J.M. Nouwen. Each meeting students discussed various passages that stood out to them, leading to deeper conversation about God, religion’s place on Smith campus, family, and today’s world.
Lent is a solemn occasion that begins on Ash Wednesday. Over the following six weeks, a tradition asks Christians to give up something that means a lot to them to show repentance and reflection about God’s sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. Lent transitions to Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week, which mark Jesus’s triumphant to Jerusalem. As Holy Week ends, people observe Holy Thursday which marks the Last Supper and Passover Feast. Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus, and concludes on Easter Sunday, celebrating the resurrection.
As Abigail Kromminga ‘19, who led the book club, I found our conversations powerful, personal and compelling. We talked about the violence in today’s world, the sacrifices people make, how one stays close to God, our current political climate, our own spiritual struggles, the lessons we learned, and sharing community with others.
I wish I could highlight every single comment, insight, and perspective that was shared during those six weeks, but it’s all too much to recollect. Why? Because this was a sacred time to come together in fellowship, friendship, joy, comfort, sorrows, and change. We learned from one another and were amazed at the stories shared. If anything, the book club gave an outlet to express these feelings in a safe environment where all were supportive, and all could find something in common.
Lent Book Club was a great experience for me in not only deepening my spirituality during this period, but also coming together with other students to celebrate and talk about the importance of God in our lives, and the sacrifices He has made for us.
The next time a book club starts up, whether for Lent or any religious occasion, take a chance to stop by! You’ll make new friends, get to know your fellow Smithies on a new level, read an awesome book, and most of all destress for an hour as you engage with one another in a group.
-Kristin Rivers ‘16