WJK Press, 410 pages
“It is my conviction – and hope – that serious Scripture reading is and can be a source of missional renewal in the church.” So begins Walter Brueggemann in this collection. Perhaps no one has contributed more than Brueggemann to serious Scripture reading by church members and leaders. This collection of study reflections is not a conventional devotional book, although it is laid out as such. The author eschews such books as overly romantic, preferring his own non-academic (but nevertheless critical) reflections on Scripture. What follows is a set of Scripture readings for each day of the year according to the lectionaries of the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches. In typical Brueggemann fashion, he encourages the reader to begin with Scripture, preferably reading it aloud, before exploring his study reflections. His comments are theological and exegetical, never far from the past-of-text and never far from the present-world. This is the genius of the author who is capable of guiding readers into the depth of Scriptures past in a way that illuminates the present urgency of discipleship. Brueggemann also draws upon the rarely read Ben Sira for reflections, describing him as an “uncompromising practical theologian and moral teacher.” Texts are helpfully included in an appendix. It fills me with gratitude to recommend this set of readings, anticipating the renewal of the church that could happen if legions of serious church members spent a year reading Walter Brueggemann each day.