The Living Cross

Exploring God's gift of forgiveness and new life

Amy Boucher Pye

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This is quite the best of all the Lent books I've ever read. I just loved the way Amy takes us through the Bible, revealing God's forgiving heart and His burning desire that we should forgive one another.
Jennifer Rees Larcombe

Content

Explore the freeing, life-changing nature of forgiveness...

As we move from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day, daily reflections and prayers help us to experience the living power of the cross of Christ through biblical and modern-day stories of wrongdoing and forgiveness. Our journey through Lent will deepen our response to God's love and, as we allow the Holy Spirit to do his work, we will see spiritual transformation in our lives today.

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Endorsements

This is quite the best of all the Lent books I've ever read. I just loved the way Amy takes us through the Bible, revealing God's forgiving heart and His burning desire that we should forgive one another.
Jennifer Rees Larcombe

Few topics are more central to the Christian life - and life in general - than forgiveness. In this Lenten guide, Amy Boucher Pye traces the forgiveness theme through the length and breadth of scripture, finding it in both expected and surprising places. Combining deep insight and practical exercises, The Living Cross will help you live free from offences both committed and suffered.
Sheridan Voysey, Resurrection Year

A fresh approach to a timeless necessity to remain healthy as a child of God. A book that helps you to bring forgiveness home to your heart and life.
Russ Parker, Forgiveness is Healing

Reading this book was, for me, as if Amy had taken a highlighter pen to the Bible and skilfully brought colour and clarification to so many passages where forgiveness and hope are found. Every page is like another journey into the grace of God. Also, the prayers and creative responses are so helpful for both individuals and small groups - this really is a wonderful resource for the Lent season and beyond. Cathy Madavan, Digging for Diamonds Amy has a distinct knack of distilling great thought and insight into just a few words. Her study of the excerpts of both the Old and New Testaments will help any reader reflect on the concept of forgiveness in an age where this can be a struggle. Amy will lead you on a journey of discovery, where you will be led to the cross of Jesus Christ. You will be confronted by God's great generosity, where you find your true identity.
The Rt Revd Rob Wickham, the Bishop of Edmonton

A Lenten journey you won't want to miss. From the Fall to the Cross and beyond, Amy Boucher Pye walks us down the centuries to meet the One she calls the "Father of outstretched arms." With captivating writing and inspiring biblical insight, we are reassured from the stories of fallen heroes, fallible leaders and plain ordinary sinners that God's lavish forgiveness is available to each one of us. The more I read the more excited I became, and the more thankful I am for God's "scandalous grace and love poured out." Simply superb. I can't wait to read it again!
Catherine Campbell, Chasing the Dawn

This book pleasantly surprised me. While it is essentially a book of daily reflections for Lent it is also a sensitive probing of the painful experiences people face and how the love of God through Christ can transform situations. The writer explores the depth and breadth of pain and hurt in life for many if not all. She crafts ancient Biblical stories with contemporary experience and draws insightful spiritual lessons and principles. While each day's reflection is brief there is depth in her understanding. The activities and questions mean this is a helpful resource for groups and individuals as well as hard pressed clergy or worship leaders looking for new ways to walk familiar paths. This could be a good resource for a discipleship course - Lent or not. It carefully exposes the human condition of brokenness before God and also presents the way forward in Christ by the Spirit.
Dianne Tidball, The Message of Women

Author info

Amy Boucher Pye is a writer, speaker and editor, and the author of Finding Myself in Britain: Our Search for Faith, Home & True Identity (Authentic Media, 2015). She runs the Woman Alive book club and enjoys writing Bible reading notes for Day by Day with God and Our Daily Bread, among others. She blogs at amyboucherpye.com.

Reviews

Has it ever grated when you've been overlooked? Or when a close friend has betrayed you? Or when you struggle to guide unwilling children to the best course of life? If you have - and these are instances from this helpful book - you will appreciate Amy Boucher Pye's engagement with biblical guidance on living out forgiveness. In this Lent book, we are invited to shake the complacency which may have crept into our view of forgiveness, which is God's gift to be sought and lived as a recipe for effective Christian witness, as well as a good life. The book draws on the life experience and biblical knowledge of Amy Boucher Pye, who is styled as a 'writer, speaker and editor' and is a contributor to the Bible Reading Fellowship study notes.

This study chooses six weeks' worth of daily Bible passages for Lent reading, linked to forgiveness. They range across the Testaments from the sibling rivalry of Cain and Abel in Genesis, to the embrace of convert Paul by Ananias in the Acts of the Apostles. To serve the nature of a Lent book, study of the events of Holy Week are placed last. This section contains a day-by-day meditation on the forgiveness established by the cross, 'the living cross', so named to emphasise the dynamic that flows by the Spirit through repentance and faith. This title is picked up in Bishop Chartres' foreword, quoting the Common Worship psalm prayer for Psalm 136: 'seeing the shadow of the life-giving cross in the turbulence of our time for his sake who died for all'.

There are some graphic stories of forgiveness, or lack of it, from outside of the Bible including a salute to The Forgiveness Project and its founder Marina Cantacuzimo who rightly says, 'Christians have no monopoly on forgiveness'. The author provides a good variety of leads like this into her Bible reflections, which are broken down into six groups, each concluded by imaginative spiritual exercises for individual or group use e.g. wiping a slate clean or using a palm cross as a meditative sword: 'Pray for nations... suffering from war... think of ways you've held a sword out against others... through piercing words or a sulking stare'.

The author mentions the value of the penitential psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) and produces an excellent reflection on Psalm 32, drawing out three definitions of forgiveness. In addressing practical means of living in forgiveness, there is no mention of the value of one-to-one sacramental confession, though there is mention of the sacrament of communion among the spiritual exercises suggested.

The Living Cross is a wake-up call on forgiveness suited to Lent, which should enrich its readers and deepen their reliance on the mercy that thrills through Scripture and should thrill more through Christian allegiance.

Canon John Twisleton, Rector of St Giles, Horsted Keynes


Popular author Amy Boucher Pye will take you through the Bible this Lend, revealing God's forgiving heart and His burning desire that we should forgive one another. Take time to be still and reflect on the living power of the cross of Christ as you explore the freeing life-changing nature of forgiveness.

Embrace the Middle East, Spring 2017


Taking the theme of forgiveness through the Bible, and culminating in the ultimate act of forgiveness at Easter, Amy's easy-to-read style helps us connect with biblical characters and with modern-day issues on our journey through Lent. With just over two pages to read each day, including a bible reading prayer this will help us to focus on the one who said 'Father, forgive'.

Together magazine January - February 2017

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857465122
  • Published: 18 November 2016
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
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