As Bright as the Stars

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Dauntless Disciples of the Reformation — Sukeshinie Goonatilleke

I waited eagerly at the end of the binding machine, watching the steady line of new books flowing along the conveyor. This would be Sukeshinie Goonatilleke’s second book and, after enjoying Sisters in Arms, I couldn’t wait to read more of her stories from the Reformation.

There is nothing like the smell of a new book. When I received one of the first copies, I raised it to my nose and cracked the pages in anticipation of an afternoon of getting lost in more historical adventure.

As Bright as the Stars is a more detailed look into the lives of four lesser-known reformers from different countries: Italy, England, Germany and France. These countries experienced the Reformation in different ways, and it was interesting to see how the religious liberty and freedom of speech we enjoy today were forged by the Reformation.

This new collection of stories highlights how the characters witnessed to those around them by sharing what they learned from earnest study of the Bible. Through clandestine meetings and by developing strong bonds of friendship with others, they managed to share their faith and touch the lives of many other people indirectly in the process.

From a young women sent to a cloister as an orphaned cousin of the ruler of Ducal Saxony, who spread Luther’s works amongst her fellow nuns, to a Huguenot preacher who was hunted for his profession, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat. Sukeshinie’s writing is engaging and so very descriptive that you feel you are in the room with princess Lavinia as she confronts the Pope and by the bedside of a dying king whose sole purpose in life was to lead his country into Protestantism.

With discussion questions at the end of each chapter, this book is great way to explore stories of the Reformation and its key ideas as a book club or a small group.

As Bright as the Stars inspires us all to spread God’s word through friendships and close contact, as the early reformers did, and shows that a great work can be accomplished with faithful people sharing the love of God with each other.

As Bright as the Stars and Sisters in Arms are available from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand, or online.

Sonia Knight is a casual assistant in the resources department at Adventist Media

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