Tuesday, March 26, 2013

When Love Bend Down | Book Review

This book review is a little different than any of the others I have done.  I didn’t request this from any of the publishing companies that I partner with, I wasn’t sent this book in exchange for my review but, instead I was asked to read this book by my pastor to see what I thought.  Our church right now is doing a series called “City on Our Knees” talking about times when Jesus “bent down” and this is what When Love Bends Down is all about. 

Now, this concept might surprise many since we, as Christians, have a tendency to put Jesus on a pedestal.  He was the son of God and God in the flesh so, why not put Him on a pedestal?  The problem with that is that Jesus never meant for that to happen, that’s why he would bend down whenever He got the chance.  But, He didn’t just bend down for everyone although, I am sure He would. 

Jesus lowered Himself to His knees for people that we would probably just pass by and not take a second glance at.  In the book When Love Bends Down: Images of the Christ Who Meets Us Where We Are by Michael Lodahl, Lodahl paints a few stunning pictures of when Jesus went to His knees before people that are what, we would deem as unworthy, to show them and the people around them the true reason that God sent Him to earth….To serve. 

During the first half of the book Lodahl takes 3 chapters to share a few amazing stories when Jesus literally went to His knees before His humble followers.  I think my favorite story was the chapter about when Jesus washed His disciples feet.  He bent down to lower himself to a level that the servants were on.  It was the servant job to wash visitors feet when they entered a house but, Jesus was the one to wash feet that night. 

Yes, Jesus was in the position of servant.  This is where the moral of the stories (so to speak) come in.  Jesus wasn’t sent to Earth to be a God (like everyone thought) and rule over everyone.  God sent Him here to teach His church how to act and live.  It’s all about serving.  Living a life that is “bent down” is about humbling yourself before others to serve them in their times of need.  Who better to teach that than Jesus? 

We, as a community, would never expect Jesus to serve us but, in Lodahl’s book he shows us how that’s all Jesus was sent here to do.  He was sent to lead by example.  How better to teach than to show?  Jesus could have talked and talked all day long and still…nothing would have ever sank in.  But, when you read the words on the pages of this book and imagine the scenarios that accompany them you will change.  You can’t help but change the way you look at those times, Jesus and His teaching.  The biggest idea that will change is any ideas you had as to the purpose of God in the Flesh. 

I previously only mentioned the first half of this book and there is a reason for that.  It’s because I feel this book could have stopped right there and been better for that.  Lodahl writes amazing stories and shares some wonderful lessons when he is talking about Jesus bending down but, in the last half of the book I got lost.  He is constantly repeating himself and talking in circles.  I felt like it took away from all the power the first half had.  The book lost a ton of momentum and would have been a GREAT book had he finished it before adding, what I felt was, unnecessary chapters and words.  Overall though, this book was defiantly worth reading.  Minus the extras, there is some powerful ideas and teaching between to covers of this book.

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