Words have the ability to change our lives. It’s no accident, then, that Jesus is referred to as “the Word,” and I have to believe that if God had wanted to communicate with us through video, he’d have found a way to do it. Instead, he has chosen to speak to us in written words.
As an avid reader, that suits me just fine. Even before I came to The Word, it was always words that caught my attention, stopped me in my tracks, and inspired me to long for a better me. First as a teen and then as a young woman, I absorbed fictional conversations and read and re-read the inner dialogue of characters I admired. As a tired mother of four energetic males, I spent evenings in quiet reading and let words breathe fresh oxygen into my weary brain. During one of our church’s extended pastoral searches, I turned to Father Tim* and the Reverend John Ames** for steady inspiration while our pulpit stood empty.
Author Rebecca Hastings is clearly a kindred spirit, for she, too, has been changed by story and inspired by the fictional lives of people on the page. With Scripture as her plumb line, she meditates on God’s Word for peace of soul, and finds clarity and encouragement in other reading as well. In Daily Meditations for Christians: A Year of Quotes, Reflections, and Scriptures, she brings together the inspired Truth, a short quote from a work of fiction, and then reinforces the day’s thought with a prayer or reflection.
When the psalmist wrote, “How I love your instruction!
It is my meditation all day long,” he was speaking from the richness of a contemplative life. Fast forward to 2020, and we are much too practical to read simply for the good of our souls. Instead, we pile up self-help books and follow Facebook links to explore promises of a thinner body or a fatter bank account.
Hastings has created this resource with her readers in mind. The topical index reveals that she covered more than fifty themes, while a look at the Scripture index shows that the daily meditations dip into forty-nine of the Bible’s sixty-three books. An unexpected bonus was the discovery of some Christian authors who were unfamiliar to me! You may find that your TBR list grows as you read the short excerpts from inspirational fiction.
When we spend time immersed in Scripture, we reshape our thinking. Drawing close to the heart of God, we find our only sure hope is based on his character and in his deep and abiding love for us. As we meditate on God’s Word, we grow, and those moments of stillness focused on the truth impact all the other moments in our busy and full lives. Daily Meditations for Christians is an invitation to ponder inspiring words and to be changed by the Living Word.
Many thanks to Rockridge Press for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.
Grace and peace to you,
*Father Tim is the fictional Episcopal priest from Jan Karon’s Mitford series.
**The Reverend John Ames is the elderly pastor from Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead.
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