My free copy of the 2013 Upper Room Disciplines just arrived in the mail. I was asked to write a week of daily reflections. The resource is used worldwide, with the readership of about 60,000 people. I think its the only time in my life when I'll get to be in a book which has Will Willimon as a co-contributor!
The editor and I had a real battle over a number of my reflections in terms of either biblical interpretation or modern application, quite unlike my previous work for the Upper Room on other resources. It was worthwhile, rigorous discussion, and shows how seriously they take their role in producing prayer resrouces that take Scripture seriously. I had done my exegesis carefully and wasn't prepared to back down. It also showed me how difficult it is to work with an editor whom you've never met face to face when the two of you just can't seem to 'get' what the other is saying.
One of the debates was about my writing of a modern parallel of Jesus entering Jerusalem for Holy Week, and making the main figure a female. I was told that someone thought it was a pro-Sarah Palin statement! In fact, it was written just after Kevin Rudd got shafted by the Labour Party. I was thinking about how forces so easily turn against a perceived saviour.
Anyway, my prayers go to the Upper Room team, and to those who might use this resource next year to aid their spiritual journey. Here in Australia you can get it from MediaCom.
[I'm not sure that they'll be asking me to write for this again...]