Monday, November 2, 2015

God for Us, ed. by Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe

The publisher has provided a copy for review.

★★★★★ Have you ever celebrated the rhythms of the weeks before Easter? In some traditions of the Church, Christians are surprised by Easter when it appears on store shelves loaded with Easter bunnies and egg baskets. In many modern denominations, Easter is just one more long weekend that culminates in a special church service. There is no Lenten meditation for a thoughtful pause in the calendar.
This year, I challenge you to find a good Lenten reader. A new one this year is God For Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter. (Look for it in your local bookstore or online.)

For those who experience Easter as "Just-Another-Long-Weekend," this is a godsend. The book is divided into categories: the feasts and fasts, the beginnings and weeks, and Holy Week and Easter. Each unit includes a bit of liturgical or church history as well as scriptures, thoughtful reflection and study, and prayer. The daily readings may make your heart sing.

The scripture groupings for daily meditation and the explanations from new points-of-view will encourage and enlighten. I loved the personal prayers in spoken English:

Lord Jesus, even two thousand years after you moved to heaven from our planet 
I want to be your companion, your disciple. 
You promise to be with me now, 
walking my life along with me. 
Put your strong arm around my shoulders. 
Teach me what your suffering means to me. 
And if need be, hold me close 
when I myself must suffer. 
Amen. (148)


Slow me down, 
push me deeper, 
enlarge my trust in your timing. 
May I never frustrate your purposes by imposing my own timetable. 
I pray this in your powerful name. 
Amen. (153)

So - we may be looking forward to Christmas now (see my review of Advent readings here) - but Easter is coming! Wouldn't this book be a nice gift for those you care about?

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