23/03/2008

The Apple of His Eye (by Bridget Plass)

It's hard to find anything online about Bridget Plass, except in conjunction with her better-known husband Adrian Plass. But she is a writer too, though not as prolific.

This book is a series of short devotional readings, intended to be used during the Lent season, culminating on Easter Day. However I first read 'The Apple of His Eye' back in October and November of 2005; about as far away from Lent as it's possible to get! Despite that, I found it very helpful and encouraging, so this year I decided to use it, as intended, during the pre-Easter season.

Once again, I thought it extremely good. There's no deep theology, but short, gentle comments on passages of Scripture appropriate for today's women. They're intended, overall, to show how much God loves each one of us - how we are all, in a sense, the apple of His eye.

The first section - covering Ash Wednesday until the Sunday of the third week of Lent - looks at some of what we can find in the Bible about God as Father. The second section, covering the next two weeks of Lent, looks in some depth at the family Jesus was so fond of - Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Then there's a week looking at Mary, the mother of Jesus, and some of what she went through as she saw her Son grow up and then die in a most appalling way.

Following that is a week studying some of the last things Jesus said to his disciples, and then finally the readings for Holy Week cover the events leading up to Good Friday, finishing with the relevant reading for Easter Day, and commentary on it.

Each reading is given in full in the book, and the commentary is no more than two sides of print for each one. They're ideal for daily readings, for people who want a thought for the day without anything too heavy. There are some anecdotes in places, where relevant; there are also meditations at times, helping us see more clearly the reality of some of the Bible stories. Throughout the readings is the overwhelming theme of God's love.

Recommended to anyone who would like to explore this theme a little more, or to anyone who isn't sure what it means to have God love them. Don't sit down and read the book straight through, though - it's definitely meant to be a one-a-day book, taking six-and-a-half weeks to finish.

Still in print in the UK, though apparently not in the USA.

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