As a general rule, I read books quickly. But occasionally I run across a book that simply cannot be gotten through in a hurry, but that needs to be read slowly and with attention to every word. 66 Love Letters, by Dr. Larry Crabb, is one of those books.
The best way I can describe this book is as a journey. The chapters are not intended to be read by themselves, but together, showing how God has a bigger story that He is writing than what we often realize or remember. I've done many Bible studies in my days, but the studies that I have done often focus on one book at a time, dealing with the message in that particular book. Even when I have read the Bible through in a year, it's often hard to keep track of the big picture because of all the details. This book contains 66 chapters, one for every book of the Bible, that are written as a dialogue from God to the author and the author's responses back. It's often deeply personal as the author writes honestly about his struggles with some of the things that the Bible says, but I found that I could relate to most of what the author was saying, and I really valued the honesty of the chapters.
I think that 66 Love Letters is a great Bible study tool. I found it most helpful when I read slowly, as the author recommended, reading the chapter in 66 Love Letters after reading corresponding chapter in the Bible, so the details were fresh in my mind. I found that this book really helped me get my mind off of myself and my petty annoyances and distractions that I get bogged down in, and focus on what God is actually saying in His story and what that means for my life and my relationship with Him and my responses to what He is doing in my life. I think we all need to be reminded occasionally that it isn't about us- it's about God, and He knows what He's doing, and this book did a wonderful job of that for me.
Honestly, I think 66 Love Letters is best summed up by the quotation used in its introduction, so I will include that here for you:
"We ask, 'Where does God fit into the story of my life' when the real question is, 'Where does my little life fall into the great story of God's mission." Christoper J. H. Wright.Happy Easter, everyone. He is risen. He is risen indeed.