I have been so busy, I have not had the time to keep attend to my blogging, especially to write about the adventures that my book, The Memorial of Jesus, has sent my way. One of the venues that really interests me is to share with people in their homes. Recently I was invited to the home of a woman that I went to Israel with two years ago. That trip was a life-changer for me and brought depth to the book that I was writing at the time.
Ginny lives in a charming little house in an older neighborhood in Minneapolis. It was a Saturday and she noted that in her neighborhood of St. Louis Park were many faithful Jews who would be walking about on this beautiful day in honor of Shabbat. Perfect, I thought, as we were gathering to talk about our Jewish friend, Jesus.
There were about a dozen of Ginny’s friends that sat round her living room. All were new to me, except for Ginny and one other who’d gone to Israel as well. Ginny wrote of the gathering that it “was not unlike the early members of the church…Jesus’ family and friends.” It seemed so fitting since this is exactly what The Memorial of Jesus is about. She reflected further on the experience: “This particular group had experience with contemplative prayer and biblical discussion and were open to the insights of the book.” I am grateful that she saw this because, while I get a special pleasure in presenting myself as a published author, my deepest hope is that the message will be received and make a difference in the lives of my readers.
I talked first about how the book came to be written and later moved on to highlight one particular character, as requested by Ginny, Mary Magdalene, whom I call Miriam in the book. I gave what scholars have discovered about this special friend of Jesus and then showed how I portrayed her in my book. I read for them the chapter that was Miriam telling the community her memories of Jesus.
Ginny offered tea and had her dining room table laden with small sandwiches, fruit and cheese, chips and nuts for refreshment. Body and soul were fed, just as they were when Jesus followers gathered together to pray and remember Him.