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Friends, Foes and Families
Lenten meditations on Bible characters and relationships
by Judith Dimond
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
"This is a book about relationships," writes Judith Dimond. The short daily meditations for Lent, Holy Week and Easter Week all start with a Bible character. We meet Abraham, whose wanderings have "a touch of Wagnerian opera" about them; Ruth who startlingly decides to leave home and go to Judah with mother-in-law Naomi; Philemon, resisting Paul's request to receive back his runaway slave, Onesimus; Joseph of Arimathea straddling two worlds, the Jewish priestly hierarchy and the fresh radical community of Jesus. We encounter the alienation of Cain and Judas Iscariot, and celebrate the loyalty of Jonathan. These are just a few of the imaginative meditations that Judith Dimond offers, as she points us to "reflections of our own relationships in all their fragility" in the (often dysfunctional) lives of the Biblical characters. She devotes a week to each of six important areas of relationship, giving them the headings 'Fathers', 'Couples', 'Siblings', 'Mothering', 'Friends and strangers', and 'The powerful'. The meditations are designed to lead us from confusion towards reconciliation, with each day's meditation including prayers for wisdom in relationships, and with the readings for Easter Week appropriately headed 'Relationship Restored'. This is a delightful book, which you will find a helpful companion during Lent.
Reviewer: Barry Vendy (10/01/13)