As I finished each book on our book club list in 2018, I was inspired to write a prayer of gratitude and response to each one. I shared it with my book club as a benediction to our year of reading and now I share it with you. Each verse corresponds to a book we read. You can see that book list here.
A Reader’s Benediction:2018
Oh Great God of all good stories, we come to you with full and thankful hearts. For you have guided us in our reading this year and we are grateful.
You rescued us from a cold and dark February and planted us in an Italian Garden and gave us armfuls of delicious freesia. Teach us to see these beauties all around us and to invite others to come and see and be transformed.
You have shown us a girl who was worthy, but unloved, simple and yet misunderstood. Teach us to value rightly those who bear your image, and allow us the blessing of loving well and watching as the loved become more lovable.
You have allowed us to once again abide in Port William. Thank you for that beloved spot placed on the map of our imaginations. Teach us to love our neighbors well as we look forward to the membership of the world to come.
You have given a great talent to authors like Flannery O’Connor, who are able to weave profound truth into provocative mysteries. Teach us to see the truths you have woven into the mysteries of this universe and revealed to us as a story.
You gave us a beautiful picture of restoration in the story of Gilead. Teach us to live in the balance of twilight in this fallen world and the dawn of the promised world to come.
You gave C.S. Lewis a mind that imagined a series of letters written by those who oppose you and are the enemy of our faith. Teach us to recognize the traps set against us, not only how to avoid them, but also how to wait for your rescue.
You surprised our favorite Clive with Joy as you revealed yourself to him through teachers, stories and friends. Teach us to recognize you, as he did, in heroic tales and fairy stories and also in the good humor of fellowship with others who also love a good story.
You made a world where two things can be true at once. So in December we loved the fantastic and true story of Christ’s appearance, robbed in flesh, while we also read a fairy tale that explains the life of a good man named Claus. Teach us to work hard for the good of others just like Claus did and therefore when we come to receive our robe of immortality we should hear the most satisfying words, “Well done . . .”
We ask that you will seal these lessons to our heart and abide with us through another year of reading.