Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Holy Book

The other evening I finished Sara Miles's most recent book, Jesus Freak. It is a powerfully simple and deeply challenging look at the church as she expands on her previous book, Take This Bread. She looks at

  • feeding,
  • healing,
  • forgiving and
  • raising the dead
as the mission of the church in living in and dealing with the world. The book builds through these stages and, by the end, I was caught up in the great story of redemption that is going on in the world through people like Sara Miles and St. Gregory's Church.

As the book ended I was smiling in the wonder of resurrection available to Christians in their lives. I was awed by the ways feeding and healing can get one ready to be a channel of forgiveness. When all that happens the result is resurrection. Death has been defeated.

As I was reading the book, the local library had notified me that a book I had reserved was ready to pick up, War by Sebastian Junger. I started reading that book and was immediately struck by Junger's powerful prose and experience. I knew it was going to be a book that grabbed me and challenged me. Yet I knew that I couldn't go any farther with Junger's book until I finished Miles's. I didn't know why until I came to the end of Jesus Freak.

I had to be reminded that resurrection is real. I had to be brought back to the awareness that choosing life is the choice of God's people. I had to be surrounded by the life-giving Presence as my "default" location. Then, and only then could I pick up War and look at it from a life-giving perspective.

Miles's book is holy. It has been blessed with an understanding of the ways of God that is eye-opening and exciting. It is how the Church can do what it is called to do.

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