April 23, 2011

Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John - Jean Vanier

This is a book that is very difficult to review. It is a devotional, with meditations written on John's gospel, by a hero of mine, Jean Vanier. Each chapter is devoted to a section of the gospel (usually a full chapter), and reads a bit like a sermon - not the boring kind of sermon that is easy to tune out but more like the type of sermon that engages your attention and causes you to reflect on the implications in your own life.

It was recommended to me by a retired minister a month or so ago, when I phoned him to ask him to cover a Sunday service at my church. He told me about this book, and that he reads through it as a devotional every year during Lent. As I mentioned above, Jean Vanier is a hero of mine; plus I love reading the Gospel of John, so the book seemed like a perfect match. And so it was. It lived up to it's title, "Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus" and at times I could sense the presence of Jesus in the room with me as I was reading.

I also managed to time my reading so that I was reading through the second half of the gospel this past week; reading about Jesus entering Jerusalem last Sunday (Palm Sunday), his arrest and crucifixion yesterday (Good Friday), and then his resurrection today, as the world prepares to celebrate the Easter miracle tomorrow. I suspect that this added extra depth to my reading.

Who would I recommend this book to? Anyone who is a fan of Jean Vanier and his work; anyone who loves the Gospel of John; and also to anyone who is seeking to know Jesus or learn more about Christianity. I suspect that I will join the retired minister who recommended this book to me in making it a part of my annual Lenten devotions.

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