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The Way of Love: 40 Days of Reflections on the Commandments

Author Steven Croft
Publisher CHP £3.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781781402719

Bishop Steven Croft has used his wide knowledge of the Bible and his considerable pastoral expertise to produce a handy pocket guide to the Ten Commandments. It is the fourth in the ‘Pilgrim Journeys’ series – the others have featured the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer and the Creeds – and it serves as an ideal companion for the forty days of Lent. I was struck however by the possibility that it would also be an excellent guide for those preparing for adult baptism or confirmation. I am sure this is right.

The strengths of the book are found firstly in the overarching emphasis on love – love for God, love for our neighbour, love for the wider world, love for creation. Secondly, I was impressed by the selection of forty different Bible passages for study and reflection. Bishop Steven has chosen well, balancing the familiar (John 3:1-17, Psalm 23, 1 Corinthians 13) with much less well-known passages (Song of Solomon 2:8-17, 2 Kings 7:3-11 – the intriguing story of the leprous men who realised they had a loving responsibility towards their community). He also chooses Psalms with subtle messages such as Psalm 15 and Psalm 131 and reminds us that the seemingly monotonous refrain of Psalm 136 (…his steadfast love endures forever…) has formidable notes of strength, faithfulness, mercy and forgiveness. Nor is he afraid to choose passages which show God’s people breaking the commandments – for example, the narrative of the idolatrous golden calf, David’s adultery with Bathsheba and Paul’s strictures on sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6).

The subsequent reflections are short, pithy and instructive and are followed by prayers (often well-known) and some suggested actions. This is a good book for Lent, and its dedicated and consistent use, whether for personal devotion or as a group resource, should help many to deepen their commitment and discipleship.

I recommend this booklet, for it not only takes us back to basics, but also pushes us forward to new horizons of faith. It is also available from Church House Publishing in packs of 10 (£32) or even 50 (£150), to enable whole congregations to join the daily study.

Reviewed by Alice Burdett



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