Jonny Gumbel - Loved
This book started life as a series of monthly sermons at St Peter’s Brighton. The sermons are loosely based on Paul’s letter to the Romans. The author jokes that his well-known father Nicky, reminded him that there are a lot of books on Romans!
There are many gaps in the coverage of Romans – the texts are carefully cherry picked; some preachers might have made different choices. Yet the flow of the letter and the unfolding of the theme of love does arise naturally from what Paul has written. The minimal title: Loved, describes the impact on us and those around us when we allow our lives to be shaped by the reality that God loves us.
The 20 brief chapters still bear some of the marks of once being spoken words. The vital ingredients are all here: simple reflections on Scripture, communicating its message to contemporary life with a light touch, and relatable examples drawn from the author’s experience and observations on life in general.
The author when asked about the ingredients of a good sermon suggested three: authority, authenticity and relevance. These three ingredients feature prominently in these helpful meditations on love.
Gumbel speaks of his own struggle to allow himself to be loved by God and others. He says: “Letting God love me over these years has definitely changed my relationships and given them greater depth. It has allowed people to come closer.”
The author has put a “wound” to good use by offering a word that can sustain the weary. None of us can get too much of God’s love; here is a simple guide to discovering more.
John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.