An Eternity of Days

With a sigh of relief, I glued the last tiny piece of the decoration into place:  a scattering of yellow felt hay secured to the silhouette of a brown felt manger.  I’m craft-challenged, no doubt, but the adorable grandboy is two, and he’s quite ready to start making memories of an Advent tree banner with 24 Christ-focused decorations.  It’s worth breaking out the craft glue again if it leads to another generation spending some time around the dining room table each day in December to celebrate one aspect of Jesus’ identity, one glorious facet of the miracle of incarnation.

Susan Shipe has opened the Gospel of John and winnowed out thirty-one unique profiles of Jesus that remind me of our family Advent tradition.  Of course, even thirty-one days are really not enough to  encompass the character of God the Son, but Susan has the heart of a true seeker who understands that theology is not a tool for explaining God, but rather a ladder, leaned up against the great truths of Scripture to give us a place to stand and wonder.

Susan’s re-telling of the Gospel accounts surrounding Jesus’ life and ministry slow down the narrative flow and lend a creative spark to familiar verses.  For instance, did you ever notice that the story of the woman who was accused of adultery and about to be executed occurs in the same chapter with these familiar verses:

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. . . Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
(John 8:32, 36)

Truth walked onto the scene and defended that condemned woman and declared her un-condemned.  Truth sent her away free.  Opening the pages of her own story, Susan shares that Jesus has walked into her life bringing with Him that same freedom.

Starting with Jesus as the Lamb of God, we learn that in order for us to be saved, Jesus had to be unsafe, offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the world. Thirty-one Days in the Gospel of John profiles Jesus’ perfect life, His crucifixion, and finally the fist-bumping, post-resurrection breakfast party in which the disciples see Jesus as their Master Chef who serves up breakfast by the sea.  Even better, they realize that He offers the bread of life which will sustain them for the ministry He has for each one of them.

capture

The challenge for 21st century readers of the Gospels is to see Jesus in the pages and then to know that He is not a two-dimensional Savior, trapped on the page or in the past.  He is alive and active in our day, and a commitment to read about him for 31 days is only the beginning.  God has given us an eternity of days to savor the beauty of Jesus, to turn the Truth over in our minds, and to let it sink deep into our prone-to-wander hearts.

Giveaway!capture

Susan Shipe has graciously provided a signed copy of 31 Days in the Gospel of John for one Living Our Days reader.  To be eligible for the drawing, share your favorite story from the life of Jesus in the comments below (or just say, “Hi!”). All those who comment on this blog post will be placed in a drawing for the book.  The giveaway will stay open until Thanksgiving Day and,  the name of the winner will be chosen by . . . you guessed it!  The adorable grand boy!

UPDATE!
Congratulations Ariel of His Grace Goes Deeper!  Your book will be in the mail soon.

//

This book was provided by the author in exchange for my review.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for over 25 years, and their four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

36 thoughts on “An Eternity of Days”

  1. Good morning ladies,
    So wonderful to read two of my favorite people here together. I have enjoyed Susan’s beautifully guided tour through the Gospel of John. I’ve missed a day here and there and would love to have a copy so enter me in. I concur, Michele, with your spot on review and love to think of Jesus and the disciples fist bumping…maybe they did that back then too??
    Blessings to you both,
    Bev xx

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  2. Michele, Thank you for sharing this beautiful review of Susan’s 31 Days in the Gospel of John. I so enjoyed taking this journey with Susan as she shared it with her readers, and your review provided a wonderful revisit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Truth walked onto the scene and defended that condemned woman and declared her un-condemned. Truth sent her away free.”
    Oh, the Beauty of Redemption!
    More thankful for Christ our Champion after reading this post:)
    Gratefully,
    Katie

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  4. Great to see you both here! Michele- I’m also craft-challenged. If you’ve ever seen the “pinterest fails” pictures, you know what my crafts look like!! Susan- I so enjoyed the posts I read in this series, so glad they were compiled into a book!

    Hmm…favorite story from Jesus’ life. So hard to choose. For today, I’m going to say His interactions with the Samaritan woman at the well! Thanks for the opportunity and the wisdom, Susan and Michele!

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  5. Susan is a wonderful friend (as is her hubby) and I would LOVE to be able to give this book to another friend! My favorite story from jesus’ life is found in Mark’s Gospel, chapter 4, verses 35-41, where He calmed the storm, just by saying “Peace, be still!” He has calmed so many storms in my own life, and I thank Him often! Thank you for the opportunity to win this lovely book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Ariel! Congratulations! You have been chosen in the drawing for a signed copy of Susan’s book! Please email your mailing address to me, and Susan will send the book directly to you!
      Happy Thanksgiving!

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  6. I laughed at your ‘craft-challenged’ comment, Michele and I often find myself in that category no matter how artistic I think I am.
    As for a favourite story about Jesus, gosh I don’t think I’ve stopped to pick a fav before. It will probably have to be John 10:10 where Jesus reminds us that unlike Satan who came to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus came to give is an abundant life. I love that good news!
    Wishing you blessings,
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

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  7. Susan is a beautiful Bible study woman. Her love of sharing God’s Word comes through often. This book is on my list of books to purchase and dig into. My favorite story of Jesus is when He visits Mary and Martha. I love how the two women display their personalities and in the process teach us so much about how to be present.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Looks like a good book, inspiring and challenging. It’s so hard to pick just one story from the life of Jesus that’s a favorite, but I particularly like the story where Peter tried to walk to him on the water and Jesus calmed the sea.

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  9. Great review, and I enjoyed reading several of Susan’s posts during the series so it’s great that they have been compiled into a book. My favourite story of Jesus is when the woman was healed by touching his cloak.

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