Even in these busy days of multi-media opportunities, a gift book is always welcome. Here are some new books on the market that would be good choices for gift-giving.
My First Hymn Book by Clare Simpson and from Paraclete (www.paracletepress.com) is colorful, full of pictures of children singing and playing together, and it’s just the right size for small hands. It includes words of 11 favorite children’s hymns as well as I Sing a Song of the Saints of God and He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.
Star of Wonder written by Mary Lee Wile and illustrated by Sage Stossel is from Forward Movement Publications (www.forwardmovement.org) and tells the story of Jesse, a shepherd boy who sees the star in the night sky while he is watching his father’s sheep. When the wise men come following the star, Jesse leads them to the baby in the manger.
Click 2 Save by Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson, from Morehouse/Church Publishing (www.churchpublishing.org) claims that "social media have re-mapped the world" and they offer many ideas of how people and especially people in churches can get into new ways of sharing the Good News. If you know folks who love to tell the story, this book will help them learn to do it in various kinds of digital ministry.
Lent for Everyone, Luke, Year C by N. T. Wright is from WestminsterJohnKnox (www.wjkbooks.com) and continues Wright’s new series on devotional books for Lent. This one could be used by individuals or groups. Includes Wright’s own translation of the Scripture stories with a brief reflection and prayers to guide readers in applying Scripture to their own lives. I liked and reviewed his Lenten book on Year B in the March 2012 issue of Episcopal Journal.
The Food and Feasts of Jesus by Douglas E. Neel and Joel A. Pugh, from Rowman & Littlefield (www.rowman.com) would be a great gift for someone who is interested in food, cooking, and how it was done in the villages and towns where Jesus walked. Includes menus and recipes as well as much interesting information on First Century cultures.
The Path of Celtic Prayer, an Ancient Way to Everyday Joy by Calvin Miller is now in paperback from IVPress (www.ivpress.com). Miller is fascinated by Celtic history and he shares what he has learned about their practical ways of prayer.
The Bible Challenge, edited by Marek Zabriskie and new from Forward Movement (www.forwardmoment.org) offers readers the challenge of reading the Bible in a year. There are more than 100 authors, each of whom was given a segment of three days of the calendar year to provide Scripture, meditations, questions, and prayers. Foreword is by Frank Griswold, our 25th presiding bishop. Give this book to someone who will enjoy the challenge!