As a new year gets underway I want to encourage you with few outstanding books to read this year.
Last Sunday we reflected on Matthew 11:28-29 where Jesus makes his simple yet profound invitation: “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” I mentioned the book Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund (Crossway, 2020). Inspired by this verse, Ortlund helps us get to know Jesus’ heart, considering who he is, not just what he does. It’s a great book to take slowly – perhaps allowing a chapter per week to roll around in your mind and heart as you get to know Jesus better.
This Sunday I’m drawing heavily from the best book I’ve read in recent years: Forgive by Timothy Keller (Hodder & Stoughton, 2022). The beauty of this book is not in Keller’s engaging writing (though it’s top-shelf Keller), nor is it in the practical wisdom for real world application (though there are many pages of some of the most helpful advice I’ve come across). Rather the real treasure is in its presentation of the glory of our Lord who is both overflowing in love and resolute in justice. This is deep theology made really accessible and it’s the basis for our hope for forgiveness in two directions: that we can be forgiven by God and that he enables us to offer forgiveness to others. I’m convinced that our Christian capacity to forgive should be one of the greatest commendations of the gospel to a sceptical world. Jesus said they’ll know we are his disciples by our love, and Keller helps us see that one of the ultimate expressions of our love of others is in our forgiveness of them.
Over the coming weeks I’ll let you know about a few other great books. And for those who aren’t readers, they’re all* available in audiobook format for the commute or while you’re out on a walk.
On a practical note – Trinity Kids is back underway this week. We’ve had a great time with the kids remaining in church for the last two weeks, but we want them to have every opportunity to get to know Jesus through his word in age-appropriate ways. Please pray for the children and our Trinity Kids leaders, that the year ahead would be life changing for the kids as they grow in knowledge and love of Jesus – and have a bucket load of fun too!
Trinity Church Brighton
0401 387 908
*(all except the fifth book, which is the shortest and easiest to read!)