• Lex McDonald

Books and Music

Welcome to Holy Week! Rather than a devotional today, I thought I would offer something a little different, with an opportunity for all of us to participate.

During this time of in-person social distancing and staying at home, most of us have more time available for activities that we can do alone. Prayer time is important and should be practiced every day.

Also, if you like to read and/or listen to music, more time exists for those activities as well.

I am taking this opportunity to share with you some of the books that I have been reading and music I am listening to, and invite you to do the same in the comment section, if you are reading this on Facebook. Some of you have already sent music suggestions, and I have appreciated those. Others have asked about some of the books that I have quoted in my devotionals, and have been passing that information along.

So let’s keep it going. This is another way for us to help one another to keep focused, keep connected, and keep praying.


For Lent, I picked out two books that offer perspective on the subject of the cross and the crucifixion: The Cross and The Lynching Tree by James H. Cone and The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross by Jon Meacham. I had picked these two books at the beginning of Lent, before we knew we would be staying home, and I recommend both.

During Holy Week especially we are called to reflect not only on the Resurrection of Christ, but also on the brutality and violence of the crucifixion. We can reflect on the implications of the manner of the death of Jesus with regard to the victims of oppression and violence in our world today. We can reflect on the hope that we can bring an end to racism and the hatred associated with it.

Other books have been pulled off of the shelf for use in devotions and Palm Sunday and Easter sermons.

These are:

The Way of the Heart by Henri J.M. Nouwen

The Spiritual Life by Evelyn Underhill

Credo by William Sloane Coffin

A Monk in the World by Wayne Teasdale

The Crucified God by Jurgen Moltmann

Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time by Margaret J. Wheatley

Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore

For reading Scripture, I have the Wesley Study Bible edition of the New Revised Standard Version. It has numerous notes and applications of Wesley’s theology and commentaries contained in the margins. I recommend it as a good study Bible.


For music, I will be observing a Holy Week tradition of mine and listening to the original Jesus Christ Superstar. I have listened to it every Holy Week for many years.

Like everyone else I have my various playlists, one of which consists of contemporary versions of traditional hymns. I also have videos of Almond Ponge (posted on Facebook) playing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and ‘Amazing Grace.’

I like anything by John Michael Talbot, but the CD Come to the Quiet is good listening for early morning prayer and devotional time.

Some of you have already sent musical selections, and they have been much appreciated. Laura Lander sent a YouTube video of The First Song of Isaiah. Sharon Dallas posted a version of Here I Am Lord. Teresa Arnold offered the classic The Easter Song by Second Chapter of Acts. Cheryl Rhodes suggested Hello God by Dolly Parton. There may have been others that I am missing here and if so, I apologize.

So if you are reading this on Facebook, I invite you to post (in the comment section) what you are reading and/or listening to for inspiration during this Holy Week, as our way of supporting and encouraging one another. Thanks!

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