Friday, April 10, 2009

What Now?

It’s the Friday before Easter. Imagine how it must have been for the disciples that first “Easter.” It’s been a bad week. Only days earlier, Jesus rode into Jerusalem like the triumphant king, albeit on a donkey, but it was prophesied, wasn’t it? But, then comes the betrayal, by one of their own, the church treasurer, a man they trusted. Then a trial, that wasn’t much of a trial at all. “Crucify him!” the crowd yelled. And yesterday, that’s exactly what they did—quickly, so his death won’t linger into the Passover. May have been thinking, as did others, he could save others, why couldn’t he save himself? But he didn’t.

The sun rose this morning and brought with it that awful feeling. Jesus is dead, buried in a tomb guarded by solders. The disciples have scattered, but they’re coming back together, slowly. They don’t know what’s going to happen now. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. They are so deep in their own sorrow that they aren’t listening to the people on the street as they make the final preparations for Passover. The same people who cried “Hosanna!” then turned on him are talking about what happened yesterday. “I watched him die,” someone says. “I heard it was exciting,” another says. “We crucified our Messiah,” the first says.

Had they only known what was about to happen, there would have been hope. They would have been walking the streets preaching, but they weren’t. No, today is a day of mourning. Jesus lies in the tomb.

It's a Guy Thing

It’s Friday and I’m going to take this opportunity, as many bloggers do, to rant. Though, to be honest, I tend to do that a lot anyway.

I really dislike the covers on Christian books right now. At the Christian Book Expo (CBE), most of the publishers had their books lying on tables or stacked on the floor in such a way that potential customers could see the front covers. I walked through all the displays to see what they had made available. All of it was somewhat like this, but I remember one table in particular, a sea of pink, where I moved on quickly with the thought, someone’s going to think I’m interested in these. Yeah, I know it’s a guy thing and the covers weren’t so much pink as they were pastel, but I felt very out of place. It isn’t just the sea of pink. Many of the covers look like someone just went out and snapped a photo of some people to plaster on the cover.

Enough about covers, what about content? When’s the last time you saw a Christian how to book? I don’t necessarily mean something with how to in the title, but something that will help Christian workers in their ministries. I first noticed this when I attended the CBE. I walked through the booths several times and I didn’t see anything specifically aimed at helping me (or anyone else) do a better job in my ministry. In a lazy amount of research, I went Thomas Nelson’s website to see if they had anything along that line that they didn’t take to the CBE. They have fiction. They have Bibles. They have stuff to inspire you to a closer walk with the Lord. They have reference books. They even have books to tell you how to succeed in business. But they have nothing in the way of ministry helps. (To be fair, I did eventually find a few hidden deep within the Biblical Reference category.) B&H Publishing has several such books, but few of them are new. Some are dated as far back as 1985. I don’t know if its an untapped market or a sad commentary on the state of modern Christianity. I know sales of Church Website Design has exceeded my expectations, but not by so much that I expect large publishers to rush out and produce similar books.