Mary is arguably the first disciple - somebody who lived in the world but also lived very close to the heart of God. In this book, Andrew Jones explores the different ways she is presented in the Gospels and also in Christian spirituality down through history, showing how her significance extends far beyond the Christmas story, to the foot of the cross and beyond. By setting her in her full biblical context, drawing on both Old and New Testaments, he also considers how Mary can be an invaluable focus for ecumenical unity, rather than a means of division. As more than just a mother at the manger, Mary can be a pattern for our own discipleship. She is an enduring witness to the central importance of transfiguration and liberation as characteristics of the Kingdom of God, characteristics that should be visible in our lives as followers of Jesus today.
Andrew Jones is author of Pilgrimage: The journey to remembering our story (BRF, 2011) and Mary: A gospel witness to transfiguration and liberation (BRF, 2014), and he is an archdeacon in the North Wales diocese of Bangor. He writes for New Daylight Bible reading notes and has led pilgrimages to sites associated with Mary in the UK and abroad. He has also written Every Pilgrim's Guide to Celtic Britain and Ireland (Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2002) and presented the DVD A Celtic Pilgrimage to Bardsey.
Andrew Jones has performed a most helpful and illuminating service for Christians who are not sure what to make of Mary. Drawing on scholarship and deep wells of spirituality, he makes a wise and gentle case for the centrality of Mary to Christian faith and prayer. This is a book that will repay slow and thoughtful study and reflection. Nicola Slee, Research Fellow at the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, and author of The Book of Mary (SPCK, 2009)
Written with sensitivity and insight, Andrew Jones' account of Mary and her role in the life of the believer is a pleasure to read. Anchored in scripture yet sensitive to the wider role of Mary in the life of the Church, it deserves a wide audience. Dr Peter Tyler, St Mary's University, Twickenham