What was Christianity like right after the death of Christ, before it became an established church centuries later? How did Christ’s first disciples spread the faith, back then when it was barely accepted? With The Lampstand, Mary Quijano gives readers a fictional account of those years, when believers bearing the Word were like wanderers bringing flickering lights in the night. This was before the religion itself was codified when the Holy Spirit was embodied by how these disciples lived and treated each other. This journey would intertwine with the growth of their faith to determine how Christianity would come to be.
“I have always been curious about why so little is included in the Bible about the journeys of the initial 12 disciples as they spread the teachings of Jesus after His ascension. And why so much emphasis on the Apostle Paul and his teachings, when he had never walked with Jesus in the flesh, never heard his words first hand.” Quijano says.
She portrays the burgeoning new movement that would later become Christianity and how it arose in response to both the era’s spiritual and material circumstances. The narrative is told through multiple viewpoints, interweaving drama and life struggles of disciples and laypeople in the movement, as well as their opposers. In the course of these events, Quijano incorporates and displays elements of the mysterious Gnostic Gospels, drawn from the deep spiritual knowledge Christ imparted unto his apostles in the days he shared with them after his resurrection.
The Lampstand is based on historical research and the Bible, as well as the inspiration Quijano’s faith gives her. With these elements, she crafts a narrative that will show readers how the early believers of Christ faced persecution by both Jewish and Roman leaders, and how by enduring these trials they learned and deepened their faith. Spiritual yet humanistic at the same time, The Lampstand offers a deeply profound and important story told with insight, compassion, and love.
A published author of four short novels, two short stories, a treatise of metaphysical meditations and some screenplays, Quijano is no dilettante or newcomer. And the way Christ’s teachings resonated with his disciples, who then proceeded to spread the faith, parallels how she lets her faith invigorate her as a teacher and as a mother, grandmother, and lover of nature. It gives her meaning and insight whether she’s in the classroom, at home, or snorkeling and surfing in Hawaii’s beautiful waters.
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About the Author: Mary Quijano is the published author of four novels, 2 short stories, a book of metaphysical meditations, and a couple of bad screenplays. She also teaches writing, math and social studies at a charter school on the big island of Hawaii, as well as Sunday School at her local church. She is the mother of 5 children, grandmother of nine, and when not teaching and writing she enjoys longboard surfing and snorkeling in the beautiful warm waters of her island home.