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A Year with Jesus: Daily Readings and Meditations By: Eugene H. Peterson
ISBN: 0061118435 ISBN-13: 9780061118432 Publisher: HarperOne (2006-10-31)
Hardcover | 400 Pages | List Price: $19.95 (USD) | Sales Rank: 321206
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches
Spend a year with Jesus with commentary and meditations by the definitive voice for Christian spirituality today.
Chosen from the Gospels of Matthew and John, the 365 readings encourage
us to remove ourselves from our hectic, day-to-day pace and reflect on
the life and teachings of Jesus himself. These Gospel selections are
accompanied by reflections and prayers from bestselling Christian author
Eugene Peterson. Readers will discover a daily companion that offers
wisdom and guidance throughout the year.
Going back to the basics: Scripture, meditation and prayer.
published as PRAYING WITH JESUS, Eugene Peterson's writing is now
released as A YEAR WITH JESUS, an easy-to-read hardcover devotional
divided into 365 portions. Peterson, best known as the author of THE
MESSAGE BIBLE, walks readers through the Gospels of Matthew and John.
Ironically, though, this book uses the New Revised Standard Version of
the Bible rather than The Message as its Bible text.
reading opens with a portion of scripture from the Gospels, beginning
with Matthew 1:1. Following the scripture is a short observation or
insight on the passage and an introspective question. Concluding every
devotion is a prayer based on the passage and meditation. These one-page
and, at times, half-page entries take but moments to read and can be
enjoyed by anyone --- even those with significant time constraints.
reflecting on Matthew 11:7-11, the portion of scripture where Jesus
reflects on John the Baptist beginning with the words, "What did you go
out into the wilderness to look at?", Peterson writes:
tourists, sightseeing in religion with binoculars and camera? Do we
reduce the man of God to a spectacle? But the gospel is not a spectator
sport; it is not window-shopping. God's rule has already broken in. The
participation of the least, not the fame of the great, is what is
important. Why was John important?"
Such insightful notes,
though brief, provide much mediation for the reader. But as rich as the
text and devotional readings are, Peterson's goal clearly is to prod
people toward prayer. He believes that the goal of spending a year with
Jesus is primarily to learn how to pray. He notes that prayers do not
start with us, but rather they begin with Jesus. After all, before any
words leave our lips, Jesus is the one who is already praying for us.
writes, "Prayer is a way of living. It is not a subject to be studied.
It is not a technique to be learned. It is a life lived in response to
God. We do not learn about prayer, we learn to pray; and the prayer, as
it turns out, is never just prayer, but involves every dimension of our
lives --- eating, drinking, loving, working, walking, reading, singing.
The way we follow Jesus must be internalized and embodied. That is what
prayer does, gets Jesus inside of us, gets his Spirit into our muscles
and reflexes. There is no other way."
Such is the journey of A
YEAR WITH JESUS. While you could sit down and digest this book in a few
sittings if you chose to read it from cover to cover, you'd miss out on
the depth and the richness that come with personal reflection and
prayer. That's why it is more of an invitation to deepen your
relationship with God and connect with Him in a fresh, relevant way by
going back to the basics: Scripture, meditation and prayer.
Like all of Eugene Peterson's work, this is one you won't want to miss.
--- Reviewed by Reviewed by Margaret Oines