Sunday, June 18, 2006

Anne Rice's new book and other thoughts

I started to read Anne Rice when I was in middle school. Since then I have read most of her Vampire Chronicles and some of her Mayfair Witch books. As a result, I did have a slight obsession with vampires through high school. When I heard about her newest book Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt I had to read it. It took me awhile to get through it, though it is a short book. I think the main reason is because I read it during a time in my life of constant change. Art and I got married, moved out of Texas and then I went through the process of finding a new job while staying at my inlaws. But I was happy when I finally was able to spend an afternoon to read through it.

Like all of her work, it was easy and quick read. I get pulled into her work very easily. What I find amazing about this particular work is how she pulls you into the life of the Jewish community in Nazareth during the time of Jesus' childhood. You can tell she did her research. There are details of how the people reacted to each other in day to day life, how they practiced religious life and the political situations from the time of Herod's life. I found it all together amazing reading the details of how Jews lived at the time of Jesus. I know that it is fiction, but there appears to be truths to the everyday actions of those different characters in the book. In fact in the last of the book she wrote about how much research she did for the book.

The main part of the book which I found quite amazing is when his older brother goes to the temple goes to give a sacrifice. I'm sure that most of you have no idea of what I am talking about, but it was a description of this ceremony of the Jews where they went to Jerusalem to give sacrifice for their sins. The way she described it (I believe, I read it a couple of weeks ago and I don't have it in front of me) is that they brought two animals to be sacrificed. One was killed and the other was wet free into the woods. It was a way of God releasing one's sins. To me it seemed that there was a direct relation to this ceremony and the idea of the purpose of Jesus' life. Jesus was born of God to sacrifice his life for us all. He was born as a sacrifice. He was the one who released us from our sin. Not saying that he was born strictly for the sacrifice. He was also an example for us all. Jesus lived his life as a human and had the same feelings of a human. He was the human part of God.

Later on I talked with Art on a subject that made me think more of the book. He asked since Jesus received the Holy Spirit as all of us did, how is he really that different from us? Why is it that we do not have the same capability as him? When I was thinking about it I realized that there really was a stronger relation between us and Jesus than I had really thought of before. The main difference is that he was directly from God as His son. Though he was still born of Mary. Mary was human and was a good woman, but was a woman. She created the human part of Jesus. She is the reason that we have so much in common with Jesus. So in a sense we are not that different from him. We have the guidance of the Holy Spirit just as Jesus did. Am I wrong in this assumption? That is not something that came from Anne Rice's book, but just something on my mind as a result of reading her work.

I think of Jesus as the most important figure in history. From the religious position that he maintains it seems to escape most that he was still human. I really loved that Anne Rice decided to write a book on Jesus, and from what I read it seems that she is going to write an entire series of books on his life. I think that it is quite a character to take on to write about and she did it well. I'm also glad to see that she came back to the faith of her childhood and using her talent in such a way.

The Best Spiritual Book of the Year


tim said...

Did you read Memnoch the Devil?

It goes into the whole Christianity thing as well, I did not read all of your post because I don't want to take the chance of ya going into too much detail.

But, I will definitely have to get that book.

Anonymous said...

I'm about 1/3 of the way through it and I appreciated hearing your thoughts.