Augsburg Fortress

Jesus the Harmony: Gospel Sonnets for 366 Days

Jesus the Harmony: Gospel Sonnets for 366 Days

In this one-of-a-kind volume, author and poet Gracia Grindal has written 366 sonnets based on the life and ministry of Jesus to inspire meditation and reflection. Each poem entry is based on a specific biblical connection and relates to a holy day or season. The book's introduction provides historic background on Gospel harmonies, tells the story of how the author created the sonnets, and offers suggestions for using this unique devotional volume.

The author describes the project as a "holy obsession." Grindal uses a Harmony of the Gospels by Johannes Thorbjrnson Ylvisaker (1845-1917) to guide her selection of lessons to set in sonnet form. Traditional lists of texts have been used devotionally by the church over the centuries to tell the story of Jesus. (The reading of the Passion story on Palm/Passion Sunday, for example, is traditionally called a harmony.) Ultimately, the goal is to encourage creative reflection on these texts.

The author compares this distinctive collection to work of French painter James Tissot, who painted some 350 paintings depicting the story of Jesus. The poems are written accessibly but often have a twist or metaphor at the end, to cause readers to be moved or surprised and to make connections with the rest of life, the Bible, and the reader's own story.

These poems may be used one per day as a devotional meditation, or as readings in sermons, teaching, or worship.

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$24.99Save 75%

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506464558
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 5 x 7
  • Pages 369
  • Publication Date April 6, 2021


"Gracia Grindal's sonnets are like a string of pearls, or prayer beads, each unique in its simplicity and beauty, one leading to the other and opening up the width, length, and depth of the love and peace of Christ that transcends all understanding."

Bishop Karl Sigurbjörnsson, Church of Iceland

"It is already astonishing that Gracia Grindal wrote 366 sonnets in one year on the life of Christ. Even more astonishing is how her poems seize the over-familiar and render it startling. Her poetic path to the crucifixion and resurrection illuminates and delights."

Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, Tokyo Lutheran Church (Tokyo, Japan) & Institute for Ecumenical Research (Strasbourg, France)

"Listen! This day the Spirit speaks in Jesus's voice and Gracia's verse. This volume will bless generations."

David Tiede, president and professor emeritus, New Testament, Luther Seminary

"With these 366 sonnets, remarkable in artistry and number, Gracia Grindal has made literary history. The scriptural and theological knowledge that supports these poems is vast, but it is the imagination infused with the holy in poem after poem that reveals the poet's grace and skill and the astonishing work of the Spirit."

Jill Baumgartner, Poetry Editor, Christian Century, and professor of English emerita, Wheaton College

Table of Contents

"The Poet's Birthing Bed"
The Sonnets
Part One: The Life of Jesus before His Public Ministry
Part Two: The Public Ministry of Jesus