New for Christmas
Falling in love with books: in whatever form we read them!’ I’m doing some re-reading [again!]. It caused me to think about what I recall reading from my early years, all the ones I’ve studied, those that stand out as my favourite books, and those I go back to. Efforts to slim down the bookshelves and the pain and passion involved in getting rid of some – is witness to how books entrance us. Jeanette Winterson writes: “It is very strange to read something supposedly familiar, ‘the Gospels’, ‘Great Expectation’ ‘Jane Eyre,’ and to find that it is quite unlike our mental version of it” [‘Art Objects’ 1995]. Her choice of ‘the Gospels’ brought me up against Christmas. There are clearly differences and overlaps between our UK cultural Christmas and our Christian Christmas. But it is surely astonishing that these ancient New Testament stories have such a lasting effect [Matthew, Luke and John’s versions]. Jeanette Winterson again: “The world of books is a total world and in a total world we fall in love.” Well, you might say that being a Christian is in part being seriously attracted by, engaged with, committed to the texts to do with the Jesus of the Gospels. I would say they are something to reread this Christmas.