In As Kingfishers Catch Fire, Eugene Peterson hopes to help us achieve greater congruence between what is preached on Sunday and how we live our lives on the other six days. The book is a collection of sermons preached over a span of nearly three decades while Peterson was pastor of his congregation in Maryland. The sermons are grouped into seven parts that focus on the biblical books written by Moses, David, Isaiah, Solomon, Peter, Paul, and John. Peterson emphasizes repeatedly that we need to look intentionally beneath the superficial realities of our daily work, routines, and tasks to perceive how God is using the most minute details to transform us into the image of Christ. Although the text and message of each sermon is unique, the underlying theme focuses on how the creative, powerful Word of God opens our eyes to see how God moves in and through our lives. Furthermore, we are not merely audience members watching His grand narrative unfold but active participants in joining God as He transforms, recreates, and renews all things through His Son. Instead of passively receiving God’s Word in the pews, the author invites us to use Scripture as the prism by which we can see life properly in God’s perspective. Even though these are past sermons that include dated references and allusions, the keen observations and applications are just as relevant to Christians today.
I would recommend this book to those who struggle to link the glorious truths of God’s Word to the ordinariness of our daily lives. We often succumb to the temptation to divorce what goes on during Sunday mornings with the activities in the rest of our lives. As such, we fail to realize the power of the Bible and how its truths enliven us to experience the beauty and joy of following Jesus. Peterson urges us to allow our worship, may it be through song, word, and sacrament, to infiltrate every part of our daily thought, word, and deed. As a seasoned pastor and scholar, Peterson masterfully identifies the crucial linkages between Scripture and life enabling us to see how even the arduous tasks we face each day can become opportunities to taste and see the grace and love of God.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from The Crown Publishing Group in exchange for a book review.