Friday, April 3, 2015

Good books for Good Friday?

I can hardly believe it's Good Friday already. Just saying the name reminds me of hot cross buns, thickly layered with butter, chewy raisins sticking out the side. Sandwiches always came first though, and my auntie always had such nice sandwiches with delicate crusts, all thin and perfectly triangular to entice a tiny child. Then there was cake, and chocolate--always chocolate. And then there was that wait until Sunday before we could open our eggs.

Just saying the name, Good Friday, reminds me of church as well, where we went at three in the afternoon before going to auntie's for tea. The service was different, haunting and wonderful, filled with deep sadness and hope. Statues were wrapped in purple cloth. Prayers were spread from our own small families out into the whole wide world. We were part of something huge and wonderful, and "Jesus, our love, was crucified." More than this, the readings reminded us, it was we who shouted "Crucify." We were the guilty ones, and over us he cried, "Father forgive."

Last week I found a free book on Amazon called Crucify! Why the crowd killed Jesus, by Timothy J. Stoner. So where else can I possibly think of starting this week's book reviews. Find your coffee. Choose your brew. And remember, the rating are for the drinks, not for the books.

Crucify! Why the crowd killed Jesus, by Timothy J. Stoner, offers a fascinating a well-researched look at the lifetime of Jesus, answering questions such as why teach in parables, and why tell the people to keep his miracles quiet. The answers are intriguingly different and thought-provoking, and well-backed-up by research. The storyline combines the gospel accounts seamlessly into something that surprises, even with expected events, making it a really good Easter read to enjoy with some balanced, smooth, full-flavored 3-star coffee.

Good Friday Dreams and Nightmares, by JR Wirth, is a very different book; a romantic short story, set around the end of Lent, in which a widower's dreams may tear him from reality, or give him back a chance to enjoy what's real. It's a story that becomes oddly absorbing as it progresses, confusion turning to mystery to hope. Enjoy with some dark, intense 5-star coffee.

What else would I recommend for Good Friday? In Three Days, by E. G. Lewis is a must-read, with great research on everything from history to food. Also by E. G. Lewis, the Seeds of Christianity Boxed Set tells the story of Christianity through the eyes of early followers of the Way, and is truly enthralling. I guess I should post a review of it soon, but here's my review of the first book, Witness. Then there are my own books - surely I've got to recommend them. Try Jerusalem Journey and tell the story of Easter in five-minute vignettes at bedtime, or look for Easter! Creation to Salvation in 100 words a day. Better still, why not read Revelation in the 50 days from now until Pentecost?





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