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As Christians, we have a duty to evangelize: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:20. But where and how should we evangelize? Often, this is less clear. One place where the duty to evangelize should be clear is within our own families.
Today, OnePeterFive has graciously offered me an opportunity to introduce you to my recently-released Sacred Art Series, which offers families a new means for evangelizing within the family. First, I will explain the genesis of this project, which arose out of my own attempts to evangelize within my family.
I am a father of four, godfather of three, and uncle of nineteen. About a year ago, and as my oldest was still learning to read, I began to ask myself: How could I share the Gospels themselves–the very life of Christ–with my son? What book could I give him–and my godchildren and nieces and nephews–that I could reasonably expect him to read, but that also included the actual text of the Gospels?
To my surprise, I could find no such book. Instead, there seemed to be just two categories: children’s bibles and adult bibles.
I like the story-by-story and picture format of children’s bibles, and over the years have read to my children from several of these. But they also have limitations: they are abridged stories and so do not contain the actual biblical text; they are often cheaply bound, thus leading to broken bindings and ripped or missing pages; and the pictures they contain are frequently of an inferior artistic quality and sometimes childish or cartoonish.
Adult bibles, of course, contain the complete biblical text; but these bibles are well beyond the capabilities of most young readers, and can even present obstacles for adult readers. The Bible is not just a book, it is a collection of many books; and these are of varying importance and style, so without guidance and instruction a new reader can quickly be overwhelmed.
The format of the Bible is also challenging: it is generally a large and heavy book printed on thin paper in small font; the text is interspersed with chapter and verse numbers that can detract from the flow of the text; pages frequently are crowded with footnotes; and, especially problematic for young readers, there are no pictures corresponding to the text.
Faced with these choices, which were unsatisfactory to my purpose, I began editing my own volume of the Gospels with the aim of filling the gap between children’s bibles and adult bibles, and producing something truly beautiful for both my family and the Church. In December 2014, I completed the task and released The Holy Gospels of St. Luke and St. John as part of my new Sacred Art Series. It features the complete text of the Gospels of Luke and John in a story-by-story format alongside some of the finest images of sacred art. Not only will readers appreciate this new format for the Gospels, they will also appreciate the overall beauty of this book: it is beautifully bound with a leatherette cover, gold embossed lettering on the cover, gilt pages, a sewn binding, and a ribbon.
The goal of the Sacred Art Series is evangelization, and even more specifically, the sanctification of the family. But to achieve this goal, and to fund future volumes of the Sacred Art Series, I also must sell books. For this, I need your support, so permit me to make what may seem like an audacious marketing claim, but which is a claim that I firmly believe:
The Sacred Art Series is now the easiest and most beautiful way to read the Gospels.
And I do not limit this claim simply to children. Adults too–whether those rediscovering the Gospels or those who partake in regular lectio divina–will enjoy the large print, uncluttered text, and beautiful images.
So parents, godparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, catechists, and priests, you now have a better way–a way that is good, true, and beautiful–to share the Gospels with those entrusted to your care. Please help me share this wonderful new tool of evangelization by going to our website at SacredArtSeries.com, where you can learn more about the Sacred Art Series and buy the books through Amazon. For those with Amazon Prime, the book can be at your door in two days with free Prime shipping.
It is my hope that once you hold the Sacred Art Series’ The Holy Gospels in your hands, you will be as excited as I am about this book and want to buy copies for your children, godchildren, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. It’s a perfect gift for First Communion or Confirmation. It’s also a great gift for adult family members who may have grown lax in their faith. Let the very words of Christ in the Gospels awake them from their slumber!
Lastly, for those that would like to buy, while checking out at Amazon, be sure to enter the discount code ONEPETER for 15% of one or 20% off two or more. This code will be valid through January 17. For parishes and schools desiring a bulk purchase, please contact me at [email protected] to discuss a further discounted rate.
May God bless you and may the Gospels draw you and your families ever closer to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
William R. Bloomfield is an attorney in Lansing, Michigan where he lives with his wife and six children. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville and Ave Maria School of Law. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy JAG Corps and a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan. He is the publisher of the Sacred Art Series, available through www.SacredArtSeries.com. He and his musical children run the YouTube channel Bloomfield Bluegrass.