At Home in Lent

An exploration of Lent through 46 objects

Gordon Giles

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In 'At Home in Lent' Gordon Giles has elevated the everyday to the realm of spiritual reflection and meditation in a way which is both simple and profound. Gordon's reflections are helpfully reminiscent of expressions of Celtic Spirituality, where we find prayers for the cooking pot and for lighting a fire. A most accessible guide and accompaniment with which to navigate Lent, with just the right amount of challenge and affirmation, particularly for those leading busy lives. As Gordon has bravely used the toilet as an area for reflection, it is safe to say that this book might well be used in the smallest room as well on the train or in a prayer space.
The Revd Prebendary Dr Neil Evans, Director of Ministry, Diocese of London

Content

Here is an original way of approaching Lent, one that will encourage you to consider your own faith journey in the light of the Easter story. Inspired by Neil MacGregor's Radio 4 programme, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects', Gordon Giles spends each week in a different room gleaning spiritual lessons from everyday household objects. As a result, you might discover that finding God in the normal pattern of life - even in the mundane - transforms how you approach each day. Running as a thread through it all are the seven Rs of Lent: regret, repentance, resolution, recognition, reconciliation, renewal and resurrection.

Endorsements

In 'At Home in Lent' Gordon Giles has elevated the everyday to the realm of spiritual reflection and meditation in a way which is both simple and profound. Gordon's reflections are helpfully reminiscent of expressions of Celtic Spirituality, where we find prayers for the cooking pot and for lighting a fire. A most accessible guide and accompaniment with which to navigate Lent, with just the right amount of challenge and affirmation, particularly for those leading busy lives. As Gordon has bravely used the toilet as an area for reflection, it is safe to say that this book might well be used in the smallest room as well on the train or in a prayer space.
The Revd Prebendary Dr Neil Evans, Director of Ministry, Diocese of London

Author info

The Revd Dr Gordon Giles is Vicar of St Mary Magdalene's Church, Enfield, North London, Director of Post-Ordination Training in the Edmonton Episcopal Area of London Diocese, and the chaplain to shoemakers. He is the author of several books, including Comings and Goings for BRF. He is married to Jessica and has a daughter Maria.

Reviews

The Reader website, 6 March 2019. Review by Howard Rowe

This book explores the journey of Lent through a series of 46 objects that are at large around most households. It is a great idea and an easy read, with a short daily Bible text, thoughtful and imaginative consideration of the objects concerned, and a message, bringing, in many cases, the challenge of a new way to see those items we all have around the home and how they can relate to our faith. I was particularly moved by the readings about shoes, keys, the dining table, newspapers, the alarm clock, towels and the toilet! The book would suit any individual or church group reading it through the Lenten period, and there are questions each week to prompt some good discussions. The book is well suited to picking up for a read outside Lent, too.

But this book is more than that - it is also a super resource for preaching. While the Bible passages are well known, the relating of texts to a household object, and Gordon Giles's exploration of each object is interesting and thoughtful enough to act as a springboard to many a good sermon. I will return to it again myself, and thoroughly recommend it to others.

www.readers.cofe.anglican.org/resources

Review by Howard Rowe

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Methodist Recorder 15.2.19 Lent book review by Adrian Burton

For every day through Lent and Holy Week Gordon Giles brings us an everyday item to be found in our home to reflect upon. In his introduction Giles reflects upon the nature of home and upon the assertion of the abundant presence of God. While we might preserve the privacy of our space, our home, repelling all who would invade, we cannot, he suggests, resist the presence of this loving and living god. Thus, his invitation to spend time reflecting upon the presence of God in the most common and everyday of places - our home and our belongings.

This is a book which may sound a bit niche and random, but it is very well done and does cause us to open our eyes and minds to the things around us. Each chapter, each household item, is related to a spiritual theme, assigned an appropriate biblical passage, given time for substantial reflection and concluded with prayer. Our Lenten journey begins, sensibly enough, at the door of our house and then the threshold, before moving on to other items such as fireplace, mobile phone, items of clothing and furniture. Good Friday brings us to reflect upon the crucifix which might be found in our home and on Holy Saturday we reflect upon Christ in the tomb as we contemplate our bed. Easter Day breaks forth with radiance as we reflect upon the glory of light.

Well written and thought provoking, this really is a book for personal devotion which will enable us to make an unusual, though worthwhile, journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day.

Reviewed by Adrian Burton

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Church Times, 1 February 2019. Review by Philip Welsh

At Home in Lent takes an everyday household object each day - mobile phone, wardrobe, spectacles - as the starting-point for wider thoughts and a prompt for prayer, and supplies in many cases curious information about the object's origins. In each case, Gordon Giles makes an ingenious link to a biblical passage - family photos and Jesus's question, 'Who is my mother?'; toothbrushes and compensation for knocking people's teeth out in Exodus.

His style is easy-going, with a tendency rather to spell out connections than suggest possibilities, and on occasion the author slips from finding God in the commonplace to sounding commonplace - 'Perhaps there are short circuits your faith' (in the item on electricity).

But, overall, Giles has come up with an imaginative framework for a popular Lent book, 'an invitation to discover how [the Lord] is already in our homes'. There are questions for discussion, though the book is probably best used by individuals, and its daily sections would fit neatly into a short bus or train ride as an amiable, slightly talkative Lent companion.

Review by the Revd Philip Welsh, a retired priest in the Diocese of London

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Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857465894
  • Published: 23 November 2018
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
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