Friday, July 11, 2014

Arms Open Wide by Sherri Gragg

Gragg uses fictional narrative to draw us into God's presence. She has created stories around passages in Scripture. She had done a great deal of research and builds each narrative on an historical and cultural foundation.

These are touching stories. I was moved by the fictional narrative imagining the history behind the traumatic death of the widow's son (Luke 7:11-16). I felt her despair and then her joyous surprise when Jesus changed it all. Some of the other stories brought to life include the woman with the issue of blood, the Samaritan woman, the man born blind, the boy with the loaves and fish, the man let down through the roof, turning the water into wine, Mary and Martha, and many more – thirty four in total.

Gragg lists the Scripture upon which the narrative is based at the very beginning of the devotion. She concludes each reading with a prayer that comes from her heart.

I remember reading somewhere that one way to meditate on Scripture is to imagine the action going on in the passage. This would be an excellent resource for that kind of meditation. Reading through the narrative really helps you see the event with your imaginative eye. She has included details of buildings and landscape in her narratives, helping to bring the passage alive.

I really enjoyed these narratives. I felt like I was inside the story. Some of the narratives are written in first person, definitely making the reader part of the story. It would make a wonderful devotional reading for Advent or Lent.

You can find out more about Sherri Gragg at

Thomas Nelson, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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