Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Review: Into Your Hands

I have reviewed several of Walter Brueggeman's books on this blog, especially his two-volume sermon collections which are very good. Brueggmann is the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. He is a prolific author and has many books on both the Old and New Testaments as well as various essay collections and talks. I always enjoy his writing.

Into Your Hand: Confronting Good Friday (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2014) is a short collection of sermons/prayerful reflections on the seven last words of Jesus. These talks were delivered in a three hour long prayer service at his home parish which included song, Psalms, and prayers. Even though the book is very short, its around 45 pages, it contains a lot of food for thought regarding Jesus' last hours.

What I like about Brueggemann is that although he is an Old Testament scholar and seminary professor he has a pastoral heart. He brings the Scriptures to life for his readers, and in this case, his hearers, as he reflections on the last words of Jesus which we find in the gospels.

It's unfortunate that in many Churches Good Friday gets overshadowed by Easter Sunday. All too often the focus is on the Empty Tomb, on Christ is Risen, and in some places, the Easter Bunny. Yet what about Good Friday? What about the suffering? What about the beatings? What about the crown and the vinegar? What about the abandonment? What about Jesus' crying to God the Father? All of these things are discussed by Brueggemann in a prayerful and pastoral way.

This book would be a great book club book for those wanting to learn and discuss the basic outline of Good Friday.

For more information about Into Your Hand click here