Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
Picture me, a young English Major taking a Children's Lit class and hoping to be entertained, if just a little, as I worked much harder in my other more challenging classes. I had no idea what this class would teach me or how it would change my outlook on life and build my testimony of Christ.
That was the first time I had ever heard of The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare, and judging from it's cover, I had no idea what it was about. This book is Speare's historic fiction classic about a local Jewish boy living outside of Calpernium during the Roman rein and Christ's three years of ministry. At the beginning of the book Daniel bar Jamin has run away from his apprenticeship as a blacksmith and is living and working with a group of Jewish zealots in the mountains. He, like his group leader, is waiting for the great prophesied Messiah to come and lead his group and others like it to over through the Roman government and bring freedom to Juda once more.
But, as all good main characters do, he has some eye opening and mind changing experiences during the course of the story. He meets two rich Jewish children from the city who let him know that during the year he has been gone his Grandmother had become very ill and can no longer take care of his invalid sister. He also meets the other town blacksmith who befriends him and offers Daniel the use of his shop while he goes to learn about a new traveling teacher who has been said to do miraculous things. Of course this "teacher" is Christ, and of course Daniel and his friends get a chance to see him speak and even speak the him.
As a follower of Christ, I thought I could guess what Jesus would say to Daniel about his life and choices and what he needed to do. But every time I read this book I am surprised by the answers that Jesus gives Daniel. I'm also surprised at the over whelming feeling of peace to comes into my heart as I read their conversations. I feel like if I had a chance to talk to Jesus, those are the type of things he'd say to me as well.
I've always believed in Jesus Christ and wanted to follow his example and teachings, but I've never truly considered what it would be like to meet him and speak with him until I read The Bronze Bow. Now, when I read his words in the scriptures somehow they are more real.
Because of The Bronze Bow I also have much more empathy for the Jews during Jesus time. Should they have known and recognized him when he came. Yes. But their situation and struggle helps me be more aware of my own weakness. I realize that we can all get carried away in what's happening locally and forget to do the things that help us remember to grow spiritually.
The Bronze Bow is a wonderful book and I recommend it to anyone.
If, after reading it you are interested in learning more about the life of Christ, I also recommend Jesus The Christ by James E. Talmage.
I know that Jesus lived. I know his live was not just the good life of a teacher, but was the life of the Son of God, sent to earth for a specific purpose. He set an example for all of us. He taught us who we each needed to become to return to our Heavenly Father. And He helped us know how to become that person. And then He suffered pain and agony for our sorrows and sins and died on the cross so that when we make mistakes and feel sorrow for ourselves, we can turn to Him for help and mercy.
I look forward every year to Spring and Easter and our celebration of Christ's resurrection to life. He lives! And because He lives we can also live.