A year ago, I posted about my intentions for a year’s worth of devotionals from this book. I entered 2012, fully aware that I had never succeeded in utilizing any daily devotional material for the entirety of a calendar year. Yet here I sit one year later, and that statement is no longer accurate.
A few things about this book were satisfying:
1) The readings were kept fresh by the sheer variety of contributors, spanning from church fathers just outside the pages of Acts through every century of Christian history right into significant representation of the last 200 years.
2) It was a pleasure to be introduced to a number of substantial devotional sources which were entirely new to me, and it was powerful to see these saints-through-the-centuries plotted right alongside people that I would consider contemporaries in striving to be Christ’s ambassadors in the world today.
3) Every day was not “mountaintop” inspiring. A handful of selections were documents directed at conflicts or heresies which felt distant from my life today. Others were so heavily rooted in specific historical circumstance that application was difficult to make. But these incidents were certainly the exception, whereas the rule was solid spiritual nourishment far more often than not.
4) The daily entries offering great variety in style, making this piece a great bit more interesting than the often formulaic devotional materials that fill many shelves. While day-to-day reading could provide significant change-ups in tone and flavour, I found myself basking in the diversity, rather than begrudging it.
I would recommend this book to anyone seeking greater awareness of the wells of faith from which one might draw spiritual nourishment. I intend to let it age on my shelf before pulling it off for another go, a few years down the road. Oscar Wilde has been quoted as saying, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”
While it seems unlikely that Wilde would have ever picked up this particular book, I can confidently say that by his literature-measuring standard, “How Great is Our God” measures up well.
YOUR TURN: What devotional sources have you used that you’d direct people toward OR away from? What are your plans for 2013? Your input makes this post better!
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