The book group met with Bishop Andrew Watson on Monday 16 April at 6 pm in the ChaplaincyPlus office to review his book, The Way of the Desert, over a glass of wine and a few nibbles.
Bishop Andrew talked a little about the writing process and the challenge of writing a book of daily lent readings. He tried to spent time each day writing and had to aim to write about 1000 words for each daily reading. The general feeling amongst those present was that each day there was enough to read without feeling overwhelmed. The book focusses on the 40 years the Israelites spent in the wilderness as described primarily in the Old Testament book of Exodus in the light of the 40 days and nights Jesus spent in the desert during his temptation. Each day there were short Old Testament and New Testament readings, many of the New Testament readings were taken from the Gospel of Matthew. Bishop Andrew said that as he wrote he discovered new things in the Bible passages he was writing about.
Readers had really enjoyed the prayer at the end of each day which was often based on other Bible passages and discreetly provided readers with further reading material if time permitted!
People shared what they had found most helpful and encouraging about the book. Many felt encouraged by the thought of so many others in the Birmingham area and beyond, reading the same passages each day during lent. Those present felt that they would be able to recommend the book to friends and family next year as it was a very accessible read which was practical, challenging, encouraging. and suitable for those who were new to faith as well as those who had been Christians for a number of years.