Lent Courses: Rachel Mann – Still Standing / Sarah Mullally (editor) – Rooted in Love / Caroline Woolridge – Pylon People
Rachel Mann Still Standing: A Lent Course based on the Elton John film Rocketman Dartman, Longman and Todd. ISBN 978 0 23253491 7 122 pages £6.99
Sarah Mullally (editor) Rooted in Love: Lent Reflections on life in Christ SPCK ISBN 978 0281 08488 178 pages £9.99
Caroline Woolridge (Illustrated by Lois Seico) Pylon People: 40 Days of Art and Meditations to Empower your Spirit Lion ISBN 978 07459 8079 9 128 pages £12.99
You don’t see a Lent book and then three come along at once, four if you count the book, Thy Will be Done by Stephen Cherry, that has already been reviewed here. Lent books come in different shape, sizes and styles. I guess this is understandable, because every person is different.
Rocket Man is the book that took me by surprise. Who would expect a Lent book based on the life of a man who embodies hedonistic excess? Although as I remember there was a good one on Joanne Harris’s book Chocolat. Rocketman will not be everybody’s cup of tea aesthetically or theologically, but it is a stimulating read. It helps the Christian engage with contemporary culture and asks some probing questions about identity, sexuality, addictions and relationships, both healthy and toxic.
Rooted in Love by contrast is more of what you might usually expect from a Lent book. Sarah Mullally has brought together contributions from the six area Bishops of the Diocese of London, all of whom come from a more radical wing of the Anglican Evangelicalism. These contributions are in five sections of eight reflections to a section. Each daily session contains a biblical refection, an action to perform and a prayer. The overall theme is our life in Christ. These are healthy daily snacks to nibble during Lent.
Pylon People goes in another direction altogether. The style of the book is to engage with scripture through what the author calls “Sketchnoting”. This has the advantage of encouraging the reader to use their creativity to interact with the Bible passages used in the book to produce powered people. The author writes: “Pylon people are powered, and I believe God wants to empower a people who know their identity in Christ and live extravagantly for him – empowered by his Spirit.”
Powered people become praying, perspective and present people. Now that is a lot of Ps for one book review.
Each of these books offers something for the Lent journey.
John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex