Jesus is the word made flesh, the truth narrated in bone and bowel, space and time." Rev. Buechner is the teller of the story of Jesus, and his consummate skill is less important than the humility that is the most edifying feature of these sermons His craftsmanship never draws attention to itself but is given over in praise and service to "Jesus' story, which is a love story." "The Faces of Jesus: A Life Story" offers brief, evocative meditations on the Annunciation and on the nativity, ministry, Last Supper, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Reading this book is akin to praying with religious art, with Rev. Buechner as a reverent guide to the artist's intent. His text suggests the tone rather than details of the Gospel. Here he writes about the "turbulent activity" and relentless flow" of Jesus' ministry. "With the jerky haste of an old newsreel, Jesus flickers across the light-struck Galilean landscape. Parables and beatitudes fill the air about him like scratches on an old film -- Blessed are the meek, the poor, the pure in heart --and people throng about him to be healed. A woman stretches out her hand to touch the hem of his garment as he goes hurrying by. At Cana he stops long enough to go to a wedding, and when his mother tells him the wine has given out, his answer is impatient and time-haunted. 'My hour has not yet come,' he says, but he takes time to do her bidding anyway and make wine out of the six great jars of water." Rev. Buechner's meditation on the Last Supper and Crucifixion is suffused by empathy for this Messiah, "the Jew retching out his life from the cross of his pain," the "fierce and fiercely gentle man who spills himself out, his very flesh and blood." In reverent prose, Rev. Buechner allows us to glimpse the "face of Jesus as our face." It is a lovely, perhaps unexpected, gift from a fine writer and obedient disciple.
Rachelle Linner The Catholic Review Online October 23, 2006
"This slim volume is yet another of Mr. Buechner's poetic musings; this time he puts a human face on the gospel events, one that mirrors our own. The prolific Mr. Buechner is a recipient of multiple national book awards. Clearly he has a way with words. He makes familiar New Testament encounters refreshingly vivid, drawing the reader in so closely that we must either gaze in awe or avoid meeting Jesus' eyes altogether." Dallas New Religion September 6, 2005 <hr>