By: Diana Rowe
Publication Date: November 2015
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: January 11, 2017
A teen who has sinned and is not sorry for his actions until he learns about the Heavenly Sanctuary where Jesus will forgive all his sins, is the topic of author Diana Rowe's newest book.
To help set the topic for the book, An Invitation to the Sanctuary opens with a brief discussion about receiving a wedding invitation. The author asks the reader how they feel upon opening the envelope, what they were thinking about the event, and how it gave them a feeling of inclusiveness. It's a good analogy to receiving an invitation to the Heavenly Sanctuary and to guide the reader to a deep understanding of the sanctuary, author Rowe tells the story of Mark, a teen who has sinned.
One day while walking home from school Mark is given an invitation from an old man he doesn't know. Mark has no idea what is in the envelope and so he doesn't open it right away. The young man has much more important things on his mind. That day at school, Mark stole a classmate's phone, and then hit another classmate for telling on him. He was angry for the school's punishment of him and at dinner that night, when he told his mother what had happened, he showed no remorse. Mark's mother was very concerned by her son's lack of remorse, and so that night, after worrying about where she "went wrong" with her son, prays to our Heavenly Father for guidance. She knows in her heart that God will answer her.
The following morning after his mother goes to work, Mark cleans his room and finds that invitation he was given the day before by the elderly man. He opens the envelope and finds that it is an invitation from Jesus to "The Most Holy Place in the Heavenly Sanctuary." Mark decides to accept the invitation and thus begins his journey of discovery about the Heavenly Sanctuary and how it will change his life forever.
This is the third of author Diana Rowe's books that I have read and reviewed and like the other two, I found this one both enjoyable and educational. An Invitation to the Sanctuary tackles a more complicated subject than her other two books, Born to Die in My Place: A Timeless Story and Born to Die in My Place: A Story of Unconditional Love. In this book, the author explores the mercy and forgiveness of our Lord, and how "...He forgives your sins and covers you with His righteous life..." Through the story of Mark (as well as with examples from the Bible), and how he comes to learn of Jesus' love and forgiveness, young adults will be able to explore just what it means to be loved by Jesus and that He will love them in spite of their sins. At the back of the book is "A Special Invitation for You!" as well as "Thoughts to Ponder" (with two pages of questions for further self-discovery), a glossary and index. For those looking to grow their faith as well as the Christian home or classroom, this is a good book to add to the collection.
Quill says: An insightful journey for teens and adults to help them explore and understand the "mercy seat" where they can meet with Jesus and receive forgiveness.