The Message Worth Dying For
A Review (and more) by Michael L. Swope*
If you are young, in your teens or even in your nineties, the Messengers by Lisa M. Clark will strengthen your faith, keep you entertained, enlighten you of the snares of the wily serpent himself, and of course leave you hungering for more.
My name is Michael Swope. I am a twenty-three-year-old student and an avid reader of theology, history, and fiction. In the late summer of two thousand and seventeen I met the writer of these wonderful books, Lisa Clark. At the time Ms. Clark was the copy editor for a good family friend, Katie Schuermann. This friend and my twin sister were doing a double book signing at a bookstore in Webster Groves, Missouri. Our friend had published the last book in a trilogy and my sister her second poetry book. Before the signing I had wandered around the shop looking at all the modern books for sale. Our friend noticed my languishing attitude toward the selections. Almost instantaneously she pulled me toward Ms. Clark. A conversation ensued. We sat down and talked about numerous topics including her job, Concordia Publishing House, and books in general. As I talked with her I saw the flame of knowledge and faith that the good Lord Himself had seen fit to put in her. The conversation progressed, and I began to learn that she too was a writer, but little did I realize just how great a writer she truly is.
Flash forward almost a year. My mother, Cheryl Swope, brought home a set of books from a meeting. She asked me to read them and then write a review. I hesitated by then said yes. One day after work I picked up the first novel. I was stunned. The book was fantastic. The style was intriguing. As I read I realized that the series was quite moving. I continued to fall into what is, in my opinion, one of the best dystopian worlds produced in this decade.
The series takes place in the futuristic Marxist country of New Morgan. This country is ruled by a tyrannical, atheistic, post-modern government. No man is free except the Messengers. They had freedom in Christ. But alas the government of New Morgan did not recognize such freedom. They only recognized themselves as the sovereign leaders of this earth. Worse yet, they called the light the darkness, and the darkness which they feared overcame them and burned with light which is the true light of Christ.
All this I digested over the course of the next few weeks. Reading page by page, cover to cover, beginning book to final book, I realized how much God in His infinite wisdom and great love cares for every single on of us otherwise wretched beings. I read about Jonathan, Simon, Jake, and Charity, as well as people such as Mrs. Meyer. I realized that God puts people on earth to love, care, and help every one of us. My parents have helped me since I was a year and a half old when God, in His infinite mercy, had them adopt me and my twin sister. And through my parents He has cared for every one of our many needs both mental and physical.
This book trilogy shows that even in a horrible post-modern culture in a tyrannical Marxist country such as New Morgan, unbelievers can believe. A Christian community such as the city can thrive, and the love of God can spread! This trilogy as made for young adults, but I truly believe that the young and old alike can read this series and enjoy it while growing in the Faith. Read for yourself and see why this one true faith is truly the message worth dying for!
*This is Michael’s first published piece of writing.