Library News – May

Having a cataract operation on one eye has made me see very badly. My eyes are out of balance, my glasses don’t work, everything is out of focus with or without them. It’s horribly frustrating. I wait with longing for the optician to give me new glasses to see properly again.

There’s often an echo between physical things and spiritual things. What would it be like, I wondered, to see so badly with my spiritual sight? To see only through a fog the way that God has laid out for me? To see Jesus all out of focus, so I can’t recognise Him? Where would I find a spiritual optician who could give me a way to see Jesus clearly?

Jesus is described for us in the Gospels, of course. We have in the church Library a lot of different translations of the Bible. From the NIV Life Applications Study Bible, all the way to The Bible for Minecrafters, there should be one to suit you. But we can be blinded when we read the gospels by our habit of taking short sections, a parable here, a miracle there, and studying them by themselves. Jesus himself, how He lived and what He knew He was doing, can get blurred.

So I found in the Library some books that show us Jesus in a different way. Like having those new glasses. The first, called “No Ordinary Man”, tells Jesus’ story plainly, but with lots of pictures and chatty bits about life in New Testament times and about nowadays people whose lives were changed by Him. An easy read.

Then there’s Dorothy Sayer’s radio play “A Man Born to be King” which brings Jesus to life vividly as a real person.. If you want scholarship we have several volumes of Pope Benedict’s “Jesus of Nazareth” which puts Him into his Jewish Messianic context. At length. And I’m enjoying Tom Wright’s “Simply Jesus”, once I’d got over his pugnacious style. It shows how Jesus brought God’s Kingdom to us.

Do use these books to help you see.

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