Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Teachings from the Bible

In the Bible, we read only that Christ grew in wisdom and in stature between the age of 12 and when he began his mortal ministry around the age of 30. "The Welcoming Door" is a collection of fictional short stories that take place between these years of Christ's life, explaining what might have happened during this time when the Bible remains silent.
Kenny Kemp, author of "The Welcoming Door," does a fantastic job depicting the culture and life of one living in ancient Jerusalem and the surrounding area. I learned a lot about what it might have been like living in that area during Christ's time. For example, I noticed all throughout the book the complete necessity of having water available for cleaning, cooking, and most importantly, for drinking. Although it wasn't in the novel itself, the way that the characters depended so much on water made me think of the story in the Bible when Christ talks to the woman of the well about the Living Waters. The way the characters were always looking for water in "The Welcoming Door" helped me understand more deeply why the concept of Living Water would have hit so close to home for the woman at the well.
I was a little unsatisfied with the ending of the novel however. For me, the ending seemed too happy and carefree. It was hard to believe that a thief and would-be murderer could have such a quick turn-around and that the robbed and nearly-murdered merchant would be so quick to forgive the fault against him. But then again, with Christ as the main character leading all of the other characters, how could it possibly have ended with a negative message?
Overall, I enjoyed the book and the overall messages it conveys to readers of all religions as it stays in harmony with the teachings of the Bible: there is hope and healing through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, even when we may not exactly deserve it.


  1. Ooh, "even when we may not exactly deserve it": that was perfect. I really feel like that line resonates with this book because of how many characters are so obnoxiously flawed, even at the end of the story. Just as we are not always deserving of the powers of the Atonement, they may not have deserved the love and kindness Jeshua gave them, but He gave it anyway.

  2. I hadn't notice how important water was throughout the book (except in the in the story where they were actually digging a well). It makes that comparison even more powerful when you realize the scarcity and importance of water at the time.

  3. I love that connection between the importance of water in the in the story and that parable! Now that I think about it, it really deepens that meaning of that particular story. I think "deepening meaning" was kind of a theme throughout the book. The different experiences add such interesting elements to Bible stories.