THESE ARE devotional readings written for the Christian pilgrim, not as tourist guidebooks. Complimenting each other as they do, both would go happily into the sock of a person planning a trip to the holy land or someone just returned from a visit there who could use a spiritual focus to enhance their memories. [pullquote]Pilgrim’s Progress is a meditative journey through the Holy Land following the most usual tourist itinerary. Each stop – be it ancient Joppa or modern Jerusalem – receives a two-page reflection: Scripture references, biblical, historical and contemporary observations on the locale, and a prayer. Worth noting is the sensitive handling of the differences of opinion between those who view the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as the true site of Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, and those who prefer the so-called “Garden Tomb.” A Walk in Jerusalem brings new life to the centuries-old ritual of the Stations of the Cross. Following the Via Dolorosa, the route Jesus likely walked on his way to the cross, pilgrims stop at 14 locations marking events in the final hours of Jesus’ life, reflect and pray. Canon John Peterson, secretary-general of the Anglican Communion illuminates the appropriate episode of the passion story with a meditation and brief liturgy that applies the story to today’s world. The content is enriched by a map, black and white photographs and pen sketches, making it a useful book for both the actual or armchair (or in church on Good Friday) pilgrim.
PUZZLE ENTHUSIASTS who for 25 years have faithfully completed the Cryptic Crosswords in the Anglican Journal may find some of these familiar. But be warned, even though many were chosen from the Journal over the years, there is no guarantee that they’ve not been changed – and there are new ones, too. Half the 52 puzzles are themed: literature, Bible, geography, food, sport, Christmas, Easter. There is challenge, but also a brief “how to” section to help solve the more mind-bending ones. And if a person gets really stuck, the solutions are at the back of the book.