Thursday, 10 December 2009

a LINEAGE of GRACE


"In this compilation of the five books of the best-selling Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers, we meet the five women whom God chose--Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary--even scandalous--challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. (via: CBD's Product Description) "

A couple of months ago MyStory posted this. (please follow the link before you continue). I thought it would be interesting to join in and she was so sweet as to send me the book. Unfortunately it took quite a while to arrive and found me at a very busy time of the year at work.
Anyway, with Christmas coming up, I decided to read the story of Mary, Mother of Jesus.
Here are some thoughts on this novella.
I'm not much of a religious book reader. I read excerpts from the Bible every once in a while, and occasionally a biography of a Saint or something similar. I've read historical fiction before and enjoyed the way facts and fiction come together to help us understand more of the people's lives in a pleasant way. However, reading the dialogues between the most important historical figures of all time, figures which are holy more than any other, made me a bit uneasy at first; it was strange. After a while though I got used to that, thinking that everything started here on earth. So I relaxed and enjoyed it.
Mary's personality of course stands out as she is the central figure in the book. I knew how brave and devoted she was but reading the book shed some new light to that; a different dimension if you like. She was brave but at the same time dependent on Joseph to make the right decision for them; she was calm and serene once she accepted the fact that she would give birth to the Son of God but also firm and determined to fulfil God's wish; she was a simple, ordinary woman, the grandeur of her faith though was unimaginable. What astonishes me is how young she was when she gave birth to Jesus - a child really yet a woman, mature enough to endure the burden laid upon her. The book helped me picture her life, created mental images, helped me get to know her and her role for humanity better.
One thing I've never considered before is Joseph's character. I know admire his humility and have seen what an important role he played.
Thinking on more technical terms, one thing that stood out to me was the intervention of Satan in the form of a dark voice being heard.
I need to read the rest of the book to have a more substantial opinion of it of course but from what I read I can say it helped me see things more clearly. Still though I'm not sure I want all the mystery revealed; I need some sort of magic -in the good sense- around religious matters. Of course I want to know the truth but in a divine, outlandish kind of way. I hope I'm making sense here.
Thanks MyStory for the chance to read such a well-written book and participate in your discussion.
Take care everyone!

4 comments:

Sarah said...

Interesting review Yiota. I like the sound of this book. You might like 'The Red Tent'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Tent

Have a good weekend!

MyStory of HiStory said...

Hi Yiota. Kudos on a well written review! I think you picked the most timely story of the five to read w/ it being Christmas time. It's late here - but I plan to post a review of my own very soon. I like the cultural insights the author weaves into the story that provide a sense of being there & relating to the characters on a personal level ... but there is certainly some creative license taken as if this is what she thinks it may have been like based on her research & her imagination. I like that she encourages anyone reading her stories to dig deeper for themselves, includes excerpts from the Bible that her stories are based on as well as study questions & prompts her readers to "dig deeper" for the truth by reading & studying God's Word on their own.

More later at my end :) But thank you so much for joining in despite how busy things have been at your end ... I will forward the link to your blog to my bookgroup as well :)

Scattering Lupines said...

VERY well-written review! I did not know these were compiled into one book. I read Bathsheba and Rahab and couldn't put them down, but they were in the form of two separate books. I've also read Francine Rivers' Voice in the Wind series (which you should delve into next!)

Sounds like I definitely need to read Rivers' Mary story. I felt just how you described it when I watched the movie THe Nativity. I had never thought of Joseph's role as so impressive until then.

I also see what you're saying about still wanting some mystery. I think that makes perfect sense, and I completely agree with your sentiments.

The Voice in the Wind series is equally as historically/cultural informative yet it is about fictional characters. You might like it more and not feel so torn, since it's not touching on such holy Biblical figures-- just holy, Biblical themes!

Can't wait to hear more. I did like reading about Rahab. It amazed me what a little research and imagination did to make a whole story out of a mere few lines...

Relyn said...

I love that you posted this and gave such an honest review. I love Francine Rivers, but have never read her novellas. I may just have to read that next.