The Bridegroom

Christian - Living
120 Pages
Reviewed on 05/26/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite

The Bridegroom by Joseph Michael Shucraft is an exquisite collection of poems dedicated to the purposeful presence of Jesus at the heart of Christian marriage. Although Shucraft describes his work alternately as verses and poems, to me, they are really more like psalms—beautiful sacred songs of praise. The overarching concept behind The Bridegroom is perhaps best expressed in ‘Guard Our Hearts’, where Jesus is represented as the bridegroom and husband and wife, united in Holy Matrimony, become the blessed bride: "You are the rock on which the foundation of our hearts stand/ We are the bride whose heart you pray transforms/ As the Bridegroom, you pledge to save us from all evil/ Truth rests upon us for you we have found."

Joseph Michael Shucraft offers a powerful, inspiring, strength-giving, majestic vision in The Bridegroom—a vision of a future in which men and women, united in marriage and in Christ, have love enough, faith enough, and purity enough for their sacred union to overcome any worldly obstacle. It is truly a vision of Heaven here on earth, with a great deal of wisdom to offer married couples of any faith. From Holiness: "We are a humble Bride waiting for the perfect Bridegroom/ One who never does us harm nor lies to us." Joseph Michael Shucraft’s premise that the marriage of true believers is a perfect reflection of Christ’s love for each of us, expressed so eloquently in every line of The Bridegroom, is both timely and life-affirming.

Edith Wairimu

Inspired by the Psalms and Galilean wedding customs, The Bridegroom by Joseph Michael Shucraft is a heartfelt poetry collection that reflects on the relationship between Jesus and the Church. In the poems, the narrator also expresses his yearning for a marriage based on the love that Jesus demonstrates. In the first poem, “Father, Bless Our Union,” the narrator seeks God’s peace and blessing over his marriage. The collection is organized into two parts: the first contains poems inspired by the steps in a Galilean-style wedding and the second explores the values that are essential in a marriage such as patience, love, and respect. Some of the steps examined in the first part include match-making, the bride price, and communion. The poem “Together as One” reflects on how communion draws believers closer to Christ.

The verses beautifully explore the relationship between Jesus and his bride, the Church, using the wedding setting as a symbol. The events throughout the wedding process are captured using eye-catching details that symbolize a close, growing bond between the bridegroom and the bride. The poems in which the narrator expresses his longing for his bride are candid and moving. I loved that the poems offer space for meditation as each step in the wedding process ends and another begins. The verses are informative too, exploring the biblical perspective of marriage and explaining important values that allow a marriage to thrive. The Bridegroom by Joseph Michael Shucraft is a soul-stirring collection that ponders on the symbolic meaning of marriage from a Christian standpoint. It is creative, fascinating, and enlightening.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

The Bridegroom is a spiritual book by Joseph Michael Shucraft. The author uses biblical scripture and principles to describe a relationship centered around God. He discusses Jesus as the bridegroom, taking the church as his bride and the thoughts and feelings it evokes. Shucraft uses Jesus as an example of how to pray, walk, love, and meditate and how putting God first provides an unshakable foundation to build a link with the church. At the end of the book, five virtues—honor, respect, love, commitment, and faith—are emphasized as key to forming a successful connection to a house of faith.

Joseph Michael Shucraft has done a beautiful job of describing Jesus’s relationship with the church. The verses feel wholesome, and if readers were unfamiliar with Christ as a bridegroom, they might think the text described a marital relationship between a woman and a man as Shucraft refers to the proper match, consent, a balanced yoke, faithfulness, and honor in the spiritual union. The author mentions how church members should approach their relationship regarding their faith by asking God to mold the relationship and continue to shape it during their lives and learning and growing together as they build on the knowledge of scripture in the Lord’s house. This book will appeal to Christian readers as they read about baptism, faith, trust, and a successful family. The Bridegroom is a great selection for anyone who enjoys thoughts on theology written in flowing verses.