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Mark Barratt – The Wind, The Fountain and The Fire: Scripture and the Renewal of the Christian Imagination

The 2020 Lent Book Bloomsbury 181 pages Price £10.99 ISBN 978 14729 6837 1

I came to the season of Lent a little late in my Christian life; it took a course on preaching and worship to convince me of the importance of paying attention to the Church year. The regular patterns and rhythms of the great festivals and the pauses in between have provided valuable orientation for the Christian journey.

One of the many things that has helped me in this process is reading a Lent book each year. These can be helpful travelling companions, that point out easily missed sights and sounds along the way.

This year I have been reading and will reread The Wind, The Fountain and the Fire.  Mark Barratt has produced an engaging reflection of the place of the psalms in shaping our imaginations. Barratt shows how the psalms can teach, delight and persuade us to have a heart that is responsive to God’s word.

“Looking back, I realize that it is the regular practice of psalmody – singing the psalms in community – along with a daily attending to the sacred reading of Scripture during worship and in personal prayer, that rubs away at the edges of my ignorance, slowly eroding some of the hardness of my heart.”

Well, we could all do with a little bit of that.

The book is divided into five main sections exploring the images of the dust, the mountain, the well, the light and the tomb. Get this book; it might just be the compass you need as we journey to Easter.

John Woods is a pastor, Bible teacher and writer based in West Sussex

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