PREFACE: A few years ago somebody asked me how I could be so sure of my love for Jesus, a historical figure whom I can never meet. I had a really hard time answering this question in a way that did not sound fanciful and cliché. My love grew and deepened out of a relationship, and that relationship started with curiosity: who was this Jesus of Nazareth, what was his story, and why are people still talking about him some 2,000 years later? In response to that person’s question I wrote this: I met Jesus today . . . They are tall, strong, and proud, with deep cocoa skin, calluses on their fingers, blisters on their feet, and Skittles in their pocket. They are recognizable by the resiliency in their eyes, the compassion in their smile, and their ability to forgive those who trespass against them. They will be exalted with placards, hashtags, and protests, after they are killed by systems of oppression. I met Jesus today . . . It’s a little cryptic, perhaps. I was trying to say that, once I knew and loved Jesus, I started to recognize him and his passion in the brokenness and suffering around me. My love for him transferred to those I saw him in, and my life has never been the same. Each Lent we are invited to spend some time getting to know Jesus: who he was, what he did, what he taught, how he prayed, and how his ministry continues through followers of his Way. It is hoped that this book of devotions (and its corresponding study guide) based on the parables, prayers, and promises of Jesus will help deepen (or begin) your relationship with Jesus of Nazareth. Where might you meet Jesus this Lent? Alydia Smith, Worship, Music, and Spirituality
About the authors
Martha Brack Martin is an award–winning teacher–librarian in the southern Ontario town of LaSalle, near Windsor. After twenty–five years as a teacher (seventeen of them as a TL), she is still thrilled by getting kids excited about reading and finding just the right book for the right person. She was dared by a colleague a few years ago to put Book Babe on her business card, and she now revels in the title. The creator of a number of Book Babe teacher guides and author of four nonfiction books for children, she frequently facilitates workshops on children's literature, teaching with technology and librarianship.
Alydia Smith wrote the preface and prayers. Alydia is a worship leader, educator, caregiver, and Jesus-follower who serves as the Program Coordinator for Worship, Music and Spirituality for the United Church. She holds a bachelor’s in music, a master’s in divinity from the Atlantic School of Theology, and a doctorate in worship from Drew University under the mentorship of Donald Hilliard and Leonard Sweet. Alydia loves learning and is always looking for new opportunities to grow.
Trisha Elliott wrote the illustrated study guide. Trisha is an Intentional Interim and Transitional Minister in the United Church and an award-winning contributor to The Observer and other publications. She was excited to put her university courses in studio art to work to provide illustrations. Trisha likes to read, cook, dabble in music, dance, rollerblade, and hang out with her partner, the Rev. Eric Lukacs, and two sons, Aidan and Isaac.