Monday, January 26, 2015

Feasting on the Word Lenten Companion - A Review

Feasting on the Word
Lenten Companion

A well-designed book to move the liturgical pastor through the Lenten season.  The book includes complete service and extended commentaries for each Sunday of Lent.  Also provided are complete mid-week services - including prepared homilies.  

Like other books in the series, the extended commentaries approaches each text from  four perspectives:

  1. A Theological Perspective
  2. A Pastoral Perspective
  3. An Exegetical Perspective
  4. An Homiletical Perspective

These overviews provides the pastor a number of ideas and concepts from which to build his or her sermon.  

Along with the commentaries designed to help the pastor prepare a sermon, each entry includes a Children’s Sermon, designed for use with a younger audience, hymnal suggestions (using multiple sources), responsive and unison readings for each week’s service.    

These are all positive elements included in the book.  However, there are two concerns:

  1. The book is designed for one time use.  I would like to think the publisher might consider publishing updated or new editions each year in preparation for Lent.
  2. The Kindle version of the book was more difficult to use than than the PDF (with DRM) version designed for use with Adobe Digital Editions. The Kindle version seems to have lost some of the formatting and details that made the book useful to the pastor preparing for Sunday’s service.  To be honest, I came close to not reviewing this book after seeing the Kindle edition.  I changed my mind only after seeing the PDF presentation.  I expect a printed copy of the book would more closely duplicate the PDF version - and be extremely useful.

For the pastor looking for  a comprehensive Lenten program this would be a wonderful tool.  Another way this book would fit into the life of the church would be if a pastor were part of a pulpit exchange for the Lenten season.  Such was the case, early in my pastoral career.  Assigning each pastor in the rotation one of weeks (either for the midweek service or for the Sunday service), a unique theme could be maintained even with multiple speakers.  

This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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