Books and how they change our Lives: Creating unexpected community

When people ask me if I’m a reader, I immediately think, “Ummmm, NO.” When I think about “readers,” my brain conjures up images of scholarly learners in cardigans and glasses pouring over giant texts in quiet and studious settings. 

Yeah…that’s not ever me! My days of quiet alone time are long gone and nowhere on the horizon as I’m currently deep in the throes of homeschooling my ninth, fifth, and fourth-grade children.

The truth is though, if I’m interested in the topic, then I will voraciously devour a good book. And I’m the kind of person that can’t leave it alone. I have to stay up late into the night and neglect all aspects of real-life until I’m done reading!

Early on in my walk with the Lord, God gave me a heart for His people, the Jews, and their land, Israel. I became increasingly fascinated with how Jewish customs and traditions played a role in my faith and in Jesus‘s lifetime. What was life like for a young Jewish boy two-thousand years ago? What did the Jews, longing for their Messiah, see and understand about Jesus that I miss as a gentile?

One such book that I poured over was called Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts by Dr. Richard Booker. In it, Dr. Booker explains the history of each of the Feasts, and how Jesus fulfilled it or will fulfill it in the future. It is fascinating! 

Did you know that the Bible calls the feasts the Feasts of the LORD,and not the Feasts of the Jews? Or that Jesus was sacrificed at the exact same time that the Jews were slaughtering their Passover lambs? Or, that He resurrected at the exact moments that the Jews celebrated the First Fruits offering?

This book shed light on Jesus in a whole new way, and brought me to a clearer understanding of how I can trust that God is Who He says He is.

A beautiful bonus to the way that books can change us is that they often lead to community. Books can connect us to people in rich and meaningful ways, and I experienced this in the best way with this particular book.

About a decade after first reading Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts, God orchestrated my life to cross paths with two Jews curious about their God and the Christian God. Imagine my great delight when I handed them this book and they readily agreed to read it and discuss it with me over the course of a few months! God in His infinite grace used this book to play a large role in the salvation of two of His daughters, and I’ll forever be grateful for the front row seat He allowed me to watch it all from. 

Books can and do change us, and isn’t it just like God to do it in ways we never would have guessed? So go on now, find a few stolen moments in the busyness of life, and read your next book! Who knows where it may lead you?