Jesus said, 'I am': Finding life in the everyday

Jesus said, 'I am': Finding life in the everyday

£8.99

Explore the 'I am' sayings of Jesus in a new and helpful way

Drawing on the imagery of the Hebrew scriptures, Jesus identifies himself as the 'I am' of Israel's narrative.


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Title Jesus said, 'I am': Finding life in the everyday
Author Andrea Skevington
Description

Drawing on the imagery of the Hebrew scriptures, Jesus identifies himself as the 'I am' of Israel's narrative.

Through sensitive retelling, thoughtful discussion and creative exercises, Andrea Skevington shows the transforming power of Jesus' words. Each chapter focuses on a different 'I am' saying and offers ideas for reflection and response, including suggestions for further study, prayer and meditation, creative response, 'life and service' practical outreach, music suggestions and further reading.

Jesus said, 'I am' integrates faith and imagination, story and study, helping reader towards a well-grounded and more profound faith.

Details
  • Product code: 9780857465627
  • Published: 18 January 2019
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
  • Dimensions: 130mm wide and 198mm high

Drawing on the imagery of the Hebrew scriptures, Jesus identifies himself as the 'I am' of Israel's narrative.

Through sensitive retelling, thoughtful discussion and creative exercises, Andrea Skevington shows the transforming power of Jesus' words. Each chapter focuses on a different 'I am' saying and offers ideas for reflection and response, including suggestions for further study, prayer and meditation, creative response, 'life and service' practical outreach, music suggestions and further reading.

Jesus said, 'I am' integrates faith and imagination, story and study, helping reader towards a well-grounded and more profound faith.

Andrea Skevington lives in Suffolk with her family. She writes for both adults and children, winning the Christian Book of the Year award (Speaking Volumes) for her retelling, The Lion Classic Bible (Lion Hudson, 2011). She also preaches and leads Bible studies and children's groups, creative writing workshops and retreats.

 

Woman Alive: WA Book Club April 2019. Review by Amy Boucher-Pye

This month I'm reading ...

I love having a book that I really want to share with you. Some months I flail around, starting a novel and discarding it before moving on to a life story or an exploration of Christian discipleship. But sometimes a wonderful book comes along that I can highlight unreservedly, such as Andrea Skevington's Jesus said, 'I am'.

In it she delves into the 'I am' sayings of Jesus according to John's Gospel. In the Greek Jesus says ego eimi 24 times, seven of which have become the 'I am' sayings. Andrea explores these (from 'I am the bread of life' to 'I am the good shepherd' to 'I am the true vine') and also the interesting story of the woman at the well.

I love how she splits her chapters into halves. First she digs into the particular story, unpacking the context of what Jesus experienced. The second half moves to reflection and response, including searching questions for individual pondering or group discussion. She also suggests various creative responses, such as writing, photography, lectio divina, and other exercises.

To give you a flavour, let's look at the story of the woman at the well (John 4). Andrea sets the story in its context - that of conflict, not only between the Jews and the Samaritans, but also between Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus stops at the well that Jacob gave to Joseph, which reminds the reader of the long history of God's people. Here Jesus acts as a peacemaker in the midst of conflict. He speaks to one ostracised by society - a woman who has had many husbands. We might judge this woman, but as Andrea observes, in that day, men easily acquired divorces and early death was common.

Jesus humbly asks the woman for a drink. He recognises her as made in the image of God as he cuts through her layers of shame and hiding. Seeing her for who she is, he sets her free. She in turn leaves behind the water jug and goes forth joyfully to share the good news with those who were shaming her. Perhaps that jug, Andrea observes, symbolises the old life left behind.

After exploring the story (with more depth than I've conveyed here), Andrea leads us into some questions, including, 'Are there people you would be reluctant to talk to and drink with? If so, why?' I particularly like her creative response of choosing a striking phrase from the Bible story; hers is 'the well is deep'. We sit with that phrase, playing with it through poetry or prose, writing a story or jotting down some thoughts about it.

If you're looking for a book to deepen your faith and love for Jesus, give this one a try. You'll be enriched and encouraged.

Review by Amy Boucher-Pye, Editor WA Book Club

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Reform, April 2019. Review by Catherine Ball

The Hebrew scriptures record God’s revelation of the name of the Godhead to Moses as: ‘I am who I am.’ Jesus was the long-awaited Jewish Messiah, but not the type of Messiah expected by his contemporaries. He was not a rich and powerful prince or a trained priest in the temple of Jerusalem. His ministry was not to lead an army to attack and overthrow Rome, but to lay down his life for the world. Yet, he could only accomplish this if the legal and religious authorities did not realise who he was and what he had come to do.

To those who had ears to hear and eyes to see, Andrea Skevington argues, Jesus reveals himself as the Son of Man and Son of God in a most original and startling way in his famous ‘I am’ sayings: ‘I am the bread of life.’ ‘I am the light of the world.’ ‘I am the good shepherd.’ ‘I am the gate for the sheep.’ ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’ ‘I am the true vine.’ As Skevington says, ‘I am’ is such a common construction in every language; it is how we define ourselves, but it is also a very deep mystery.

Each chapter of this book explores one of the stories in which Jesus says, ‘I am…’ It looks at its context and characters and shows the transforming power of Jesus’ words for his listeners. Skevington goes beyond the classic seven ‘I am’ statements, also including Jesus’ words to the woman at the well and what he said when he was confronted by soldiers in the garden of Gethsemane: ‘I am he for whom you are looking.’ Each time, Skevington includes a prayer and meditation and gives suggestions for further study and some creative responses in service and practical outreach.

This book could be used by individuals for their own personal faith development or used as a study guide for group discussions. It would make an excellent Lent course!

Catherine Ball is Minister of the Free Church, St Ives and Fenstanton United Reformed Church

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Review on https://monasteriesoftheheart.org

This is a unique look at the things Jesus says about himself. It has a few pages of retelling and discussion of each passage, followed by a huge quantity of suggestions for responses -questions to invite thinking, prayer and meditation and creative ideas, with drawing, writing and making, getting out and about in creation and suggestions for activism, service and worship. It is such a rich resource that in one small book there is enough to return to again and again. A real delight of practical theology. Andrea has a blog where you can explore sections from her work as a gift. 

 

Baptist Times Round up May 2019. Review by Pieter J Lalleman

Author and amateur-theologian Skevington presents nine chapters of material on the ‘I am’ sayings of Jesus in John’s Gospel. She deals with Jesus as the bread of life (chapter 3), the light of the world (4), the good shepherd and the gate (together in 5), the resurrection and the life (6), the way, the truth and the life (7), and the true vine (8). The short ninth and final chapter is about Jesus’ saying ‘I am he’ in John 18:5.

Chapter 1 discusses the revelation of God’s name ‘I Am’ (Yahweh) to Moses in Exodus 3 and chapter 2 is about Jesus and the women at the well, to whom he says that he is the Messiah, using the same words ‘I am’.

The first part of each chapter contains the full text of the Scripture passage and a study of it, the second part offers numerous suggestions for ‘reflection and response’: questions, references to similar passages with questions about them, prayers, suggestions for activities, suggestions for further reading, and much more. For example, after ‘I am the bread of life’ we are invited to bake bread, to reflect on avoiding waste and to consider fasting.

Skevington’s explanations of Scripture are attractive and generally to the point, although occasionally driven by association rather than by strict interpretation. She fills some Greek words with more meaning than they have in themselves. The suggested responses are naturally more diverse and the ideas for further study touch on the entire Christian life. This means that in the end this positive book reaches far and wide. It will surely help attentive readers in their life of faith.

More about the author and her books can be found on her website. 

https://andreaskevington.com

The Revd Dr Pieter J. Lalleman teaches Bible at Spurgeon's College