Small Epiphanies

The Jesus Review
We are people of the book.  This is no epiphany – great or small. 

Whether we offer chapter and verse to prove our point, sing the psalms or seek comfort in Jesus’ words, we are women that center our lives on text. On Epiphany, we celebrate the books that have offered us strength in the past year. Some of these books fed our ministry.  Some called us to justice and others just provided an escape into the world of words.

When God is Silent by Barbara Brown Taylor

This book reminded me why I love preaching so much. It reminded me that ministers are ministers of presence. It’s a common thing that we all know, but this book put words to the whys and how’s in a clear articulate way.

Home by Marilynne Robinson

Home is the companion book to Gilead. Robinson has an amazing way of making a quiet family’s story really dramatic and beautiful. She writes about complicated lives and small and great acts of grace.

The Gathering: A Novel by Anne Enright

Enright won the 2007 Booker Prize for this book that tells the story of a woman who travels to London to retrieve her brother’s body. It’s a story about family and how complicated family can be. It’s a lyrical story with sentences and paragraphs you will want to savor.

Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope by Brian D. McLaren

McLaren provides the right language for a Young Adult study group. He puts words to the global problem.He asks them the hard questions.This is a great book for conversation – and perhaps a small epiphany.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

It was extremely helpful in understanding what I eat and how much of the American diet isn’t really food! This book inspired one young clergy woman to change her eating habits, such as removing foods with hydrogenated corn syrup. It’s not really a “diet book” but following the wisdom will definitely lead to losing pounds and feeling more energetic.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year in Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Another book that offered a similar epiphany to be more focused on organic foods was given by Kingsolver. It is a gift to read her account of making a dedicated choice of discipleship (even if she would never describe it that way). It is also a gift that she shared wonderful recipes from her experience in each chapter.

4 replies
  1. Laura S-R
    Laura S-R says:

    Thank you for this. I love to read, but I’m sometimes at a loss for what to read next. I’m especially excited because I just looked these books up on my library’s website, and the library has almost all of them!

  2. Katie
    Katie says:

    I’m teaching a class on “faithful fiction” this summer, and I’m excited about how helpful this list will be!
    I also loved “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” And I’m also about to finish “The Year of Living Biblically,” which I would recommend as a great experiential study of contemporary hermeneutics.
    Ooh, I just used up my quota of seminary language for the day.

  3. Theresa
    Theresa says:

    I’m always glad for new books to add to my list. I also loved The Year of Living Biblically. One of the most interesting books I read this year was “An Infinity of Little Hours” about the journey of five young men into a monastry.


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