When the church was young, I thought of your kingdom as a garden, rich and sweet and green, fruit for the eating, grasses for running swift as gazelles, a golden air for breathing and shouting and laughing. Now I think of the kingdom as a couch in the darkness, a bed to rest on, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears. It used to be I thought that things would start in heaven. Now I only hope that things will end.These words are spoken by Barnabas, from Paul: a novel by Walter Wangerin Jr.
I just finished this lovely, lengthy read, a retelling of the life of - you guessed it! - Paul the apostle. Walter Wangerin is a skilled writer, and he gives the people, conflict and times of the early church life and colour.
Paul is written in the first person, as a range of individuals - Priscilla, Barnabas, James, Seneca - give their impressions of Paul and tell his story. It's not a perfect book - there are some theological oddities - but what a wonderful characterization of Paul!
A recommended read.
Quote is from Walter Wangerin, Paul, 296.