“Spiritual Amnesia is a common condition among Christians. We’ve all suffered an unholy forgetfulness at times that eclipses any answered prayers or kindnesses received in the past,” Instead of acknowledging what Jesus has done for us, we remember only our problems. Joanna Weaver has explored the complexities of becoming a true friend of Christ in a world where we, the sinful, are still wearing the clothes of the grave that Christ has already redeemed us from, and stubbornly refuse to take them off. Weaver, best selling author of Having a Mary heart in a Martha World, has explored another angle to the favorite bible story in her new book, Lazarus Awakening, Finding Your Place in the Heart of God.
I have frequently read bible study books on a myriad of topics, but this is the first time in a long while I can honestly say, wow! Weaver delves into the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus from an entirely different perspective, Lazarus. She explores the real friend that Jesus asks and wants us to be. Not a hetairos, one who is a friend expecting to receive something in return, but a philos, an “intimate classification reserved for those close to the heart.” In her book, Weaver illustrates to the reader that Christ offers to us the same “beautiful acceptance” that He offered to Lazarus and the love that Lazarus returned, we can return also.” It is our duty to reciprocate. It is in doing that, that one can discover the good news of the gospel. Weaver encourages one to “simply enjoy hanging out with God…He is looking for friends. And the more unlikely the friendship, it seems, the better.”
There were so many facets of Weaver’s study that called to me. I loved her approach to the Mary, Martha, and Lazarus story. Her approach was so different than any I have read before. I loved her frankness. I appreciate when an honest Christian calls a spade a spade, or in this case a sinner, a sinner. She states that it is “possible to become addicted to praise without really becoming addicted to God.” She continues to say that when this happens, “our worship ceases to be worship and turns into just another ritual.” Weaver nailed it on the head with this statement. As Christians, one can become so filled with praise that we forget friendship and simple gratitude for the grace of our dear Lord.
It has been a long while since I found a bible study that I want to reread and continue to study. Thank you Joanna Weaver for the opportunity to do just that.
FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review