I recently received a copy of new book by Frank Viola titled God’s Favorite Place on Earth. The book uses a creative approach to reflecting on Jesus' visits to Bethany. Each of the six chapters begins with Viola role-playing Lazarus, narrating the various episodes from his viewpoint. Each chapter then presents the biblical text of the story, followed by Viola's reflections. There are discussion questions at the back for group study.
I confess that I am not typically fond of this genre where an author tries to offer a narrative through the mouth of a biblical character but this worked. I had never really thought about the place of Bethany in the larger scheme of things, at least not in the way Viola has done here. I found this to be an enjoyable read, prompting many moments of reflection. I encourage you to check it out if you are looking for a devotional or for a small group study.
To promote the book, Viola and the publisher will give you twenty-five bonus gifts if you buy by May 7. So jump on over to www.godsfavoriteplace.com and check it out.