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Joshua: The Homecoming

Joshua: The Homecoming

4.5 41
by Joseph F. Girzone

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The countdown to the year 2000 affected people in different ways -- some were curious, others anxious, and still others panicked. Amid this atmosphere of uncertainty, a quiet solitary man comes again to the tiny town of Auburn. This carpenter, known as Joshua, first arrived nearly two decades earlier and transformed everyone with his words of peace and actions of love


The countdown to the year 2000 affected people in different ways -- some were curious, others anxious, and still others panicked. Amid this atmosphere of uncertainty, a quiet solitary man comes again to the tiny town of Auburn. This carpenter, known as Joshua, first arrived nearly two decades earlier and transformed everyone with his words of peace and actions of love. However, in the years since he left, many of his friends have died and a generation has grown up not knowing him. Now, with the new millenium on the horizon, Joshua reassures everyone by reminding them of the lessons he left them with years before. He explains that God is love, not some monster waiting for people to make one false move and then punish them. But when an immense earthquake strikes just before the new year, and other "signs of the apocalypse" seem to abound, Joshua realizes that his wisdom much reach beyond this small town in order to help people throughout the rest of the world.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Another millennial novel, this one featuring the protagonist of Girzone's four best-selling Joshua novels. Here, Joshua seeks to reassure people anxious about the coming of the year 2000 even as a giant earthquake hits. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Crown Religion/Business/Forum
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Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.77(d)

Read an Excerpt

There are stories throughout history about mysterious appearances of the Divine Presence in people's lives. Some are mythical, and others are quite well documented, as is the case with Moses, the prophets, and many of the saints. While some people might feel God's comings and goings should be restricted as prescribed in Revelation, it seems God nonetheless still has His own mind and feels free to move about His creation as He chooses. As to the reasons for such supernatural happenings, only God can provide the answer. I like to think that as human events flow farther and farther away from the initial shock of the Resurrection, people find reasons for belief increasingly harder to accept than did people of the past. God seems to understand the difficulty of finding faith in a faithless age, and, as in the story of the Prodigal Son, condescends to our human weakness to help our unbelief. That may be the reason why Joshua, in this present story, returns for another visit, to bring comfort and hope to a people frightened about dire prophecies of imminent disaster.

It was a bitterly cold winter night. A lone stranger walked down a street in the City of Brotherly Love, not far from the old Reading Railroad Station, recently converted into the Reading Market. People were rushing--many were on their way to celebrate with friends, others to evening services, some were even last-minute shoppers, for it is Christmas Eve. The stranger was not properly dressed for such a cold night, wearing nothing more than a woolen shirt, ordinary pants, and sandals. But surprisingly enough, this man seemed unconcerned about his exposure to the elements as he stopped at the corner, looked in different directions, and began to cross the street. Seemingly out of nowhere a speeding car squealed around the corner, barely missing the stranger but managing to soak him with icy slush.

Furious at the close call, the driver yelled out the window, "Watch where you're walking, you lazy bum." Unperturbed, the stranger continued on his way as if he heard nothing, joining the people who were headed toward a church a few blocks away. No one paid much attention to the stranger, but those who did commented to their companions on how meagerly clad he was for such a freezing cold night. One lady suggested her husband give him his overcoat as he had two more at home.

"Honey, you've got to be kidding! If he wants to dress that way, that's his problem. There's no reason why he can't work like everyone else. Why should I be expected to dress him? I've never in my life ever seen a truly poor person. People like him are just too lazy to work."

The wife said nothing more and the couple hurried toward the joyful sound of Christmas hymns. Taking no notice of this exchange, the stranger himself continued toward the church. At the steps of the church, a young boy selling calendars watched with sadness as he approached.

"'Hey, mister, you look cold. Don't you have anything better than that to wear?'"

"That's all I have, Thomas. But I don't mind."

"But you have to mind. It's a cold night. You're going to freeze, especially from that guy splashing you with slush. There he goes into the church with his family. He's not a very nice man. I know him. Here, mister, take my coat. I have a sweater underneath, so I can keep warm," the boy said as he took off his coat. It had a hole in the elbow of one sleeve. The coat was old, probably handed down in the family from one child to the next.

"By the way, mister, what's your name?"


"Joshua, that's a nice name. But how did you know my name?" the boy asked, as he offered his coat to Joshua. When Joshua did not respond immediately, the boy, in his excitement to help the stranger, forgot that he never got an answer to his question.

Joshua accepted the gift so generously offered and tried to put it on. It was clearly too small, but as he put his arm in the sleeve, it expanded to a perfect fit. As the tiny coat grew to Joshua's size, Joshua watched the boy's growing amazement and smiled. Then, taking off the coat, he gave it back to the boy. It was no longer a worn-out rag, but a beautiful new coat. The coat the boy gave Joshua, Joshua was still wearing.

"Gee, mister, how did you do that?"

Joshua smiled. "Our Father in heaven always takes good care of us, Thomas. I also noticed that people were not buying your calendars. Your Heavenly Father knows your parents need the money to buy clothes for your family for Christmas, so He blessed you. You will find what He gave you in the right hand pocket. The calendars he would like you to give to poor people when you see them tomorrow."

The boy reached into his pocket, and to his surprise, found it full of money.

The parish priest on his way to Mass watched this touching scene unfold from a distance. The boy he had known since birth. He belonged to a poor family that lived in the parish, good people struggling hard to survive. The priest had often helped them, and had allowed the boy to sell his calendars outside the church each year to earn a little money for Christmas. The priest was touched when he saw the boy offer Joshua his coat, but was awestruck at what followed. He wanted to walk over and become involved, but, out of respect for the privacy of what he was witnessing, thought it best that he wait. After Joshua gave the boy back his coat, he turned and looked over at the priest and, in a kind gesture of recognition, smiled at him. The priest then knew. He smiled and entered the church, rubbing the tears from his eyes. He turned as if he wanted to go back and talk to the stranger, but thought differently, then continued up the aisle of the church. To intrude on such an intimate encounter would be rude. It was the boy's special moment. The stranger's smile was blessing enough.

In the meantime, when the boy realized how much money there was in the pocket, he was overjoyed.

"Thank you, mister. Thank you so much. Now, I can buy my mother and father and my sisters presents for Christmas. The man at the store told me he was closing late and would wait for me, like he did last year."

"Now, go home, son, and get some sleep."

"No, no. I can't do that. I want to go in and thank Jesus. It's his birthday, you know." The boy ran up the stairs of the church and went inside. Joshua followed slowly behind, and stood there for a few moments, looking across the crowded rows of people singing the age-old songs of Jesus' birth. Their love and good will were genuine, but their understanding, like that of the people of old, was, oh, so wanting. He still loved them, and smiled at this little flock of singing sheep. He turned, walked out into the street, and continued in the direction of the Reading Market.

From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

Joseph F. Girzone retired from the active priesthood in 1981 for health reasons. He then embarked on the suprising writing career that has brought him millions of readers. Among his bestselling titles are Never Alone, Joshua, and A Portrait of Jesus. He lives in Albany, New York.

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Joshua 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It had a really good message that is aligned with God's word. I really recommend this book for people of christain faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book sucks ass
Guest More than 1 year ago
I stumbled upon this book and was very glad that I did. It provides a fresh perspective on how Jesus would live His life on earth today and it shows how each of us can find joy in the simple things that life has to offer. It also provides some eye-opening insight into modern day religion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joshua is well-told story. Girzone's style is simple and engaging. This parable of finding the Lord in a small New York town has undeniable appeal. It was given to me as a gift many years ago, and I have given it to others many times since. Girzone's work deeply influenced my thinking about God and Jesus.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joshua, although simply written, is a great parable regarding how Jesus would be accepted in today's society. It's interesting that Joshua's interpretation of the scriptures, is seen as radical to church leaders. The average person that Joshua helps loves him, but various church leaders feel threatened and soon he is in danger just as Jesus once was. I've always thought that if Jesus returned today he would receive pretty much the same treatment as he did centuries ago. This book illustrates that point. The Christian church has moved away from the words of the true Jesus, and like in earlier times, are often interested in power and don't encourage their followers to discuss the Bible but to simply accept what they are told. It would be nice if more people read this book and listened to the message. Another novel, 'The Destiny of Miro' brings up some of the same issues regarding organized religion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the way Jesus message was given. It did not feel like we were being preached to, yet the message gets across.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 'Joshua,' Father Girzone describes in a parable how people have lost sight of the true meaning of religion. Joshua is a the title character. Although the novel never comes out and says it, the main character, Joshua, portrays the second coming of Christ. Just like 2,000 years ago, the novel shows Joshua rejected by religious leaders. Although Joshua is not crucified, the circumstances are the same and he leaves without being accepted. Only a handful of people realize how special Joshua is and believe in him. This novel will get you thinking about your own religion or belief in God.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most beautiful books I've every read and would like to order this thru your company
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book its tiresome and repetitive and is unbelievably boring but has a good message which is mentioned every other page, honestly iy is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This fits right in with The Shack. It is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I first read this about 15 years ago. So glad I found it again. I now own it and can read it at will.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nana-96 More than 1 year ago
I have read this book twice myself. I ordered these copies for our book club to read and discuss together. I'm sure they will all enjoy this book. I highly recommend all of Girzone's books to everyone. And I have all of his books but one which I have not able to find yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book "Joshua" is a great book that puts simplicity in life and reflects on what Christ came to earth to teach. The story tells of a man living in a small town that could represent any town that has prejudice between groups and how people are tagged as stereotypes. The book challenges the reader to look at their own life and see how they are not following the footseps of a fair person. Accept people for who they are and always assume positive intent.
Maroonbell More than 1 year ago
I'd never heard of the Joshua books before until a member of the church where I worked at the time bought the whole set and brought them to donate to the church library. He asked if I'd ever read them and when he found out I hadn't, he urged me to read them and then put them in the church library when I was done. I did so and the books in this series blessed me during a time I really needed it. It made me feel closer to the Lord when I was going through a spiritual desert. I love the whole series, but this first one is the very best! It's moving, entertaining, thought-provoking and prayer-provoking! I absolutely loved it!
Four More than 1 year ago
If Jesus returned today, this might be His story. "Joshua" (the name Jesus goes by in this story) questions the teachings of the church just like He did 2000 years ago. He heals the sick, raises the dead, and has an audience with the Pope and the Jewish community. The message is good, although the writing style has a bit too much exposition for me. Once I got beyond that, though, the story was well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book that defines grassroots Christianity and refreshes those disciples who may have got themselves mixed up in too much Church stuff and not enough servitude and relationships. A must-read for the 21st century Christian.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have not read the book but the movie is the best I have ever seen. I highly reccomend reading the book and seeing the movie. It is so uplifting and leaves you feeling so happy when you are done watching it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Always know you are not alone and that all you have to do is ask God to join you and you will succeed. He is there for all of us and that is amazing in itself! Love and spread joy whenever you can even in the smallest of ways and you will inspire others to do the same by your own example. Most of all keep the faith and know you are loved by the greatest of us all -- our creator. Spectacular movie and extremely uplifting and inspiring to do good everyday you live and walk on this earth in this very special life you are given.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wherever you are on your journey, Joshua will open your eyes. We have more in common with one another than we realize. Read it with an open mind and heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read this book 3 times (and bought the movie) along with reading all the other Joshua books by Girzone, and they are wonderfully written and spiritualy uplifting. I keep these books close to my heart as they have given me back my Faith in God that I had lost. Not that they are true but just the mere thought that "what if?" is what stops you in your tracks. Joseph Girzone has done a wonderful portrayal of Jesus!!! I would imagine Jesus to be this type of person in this day and age. Please take the time to read Joshua as you will never regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has changed allot in my life. Things that I already new but had long forgotten. Joshua has lifted my soul and my Faith. It has inspired me and all the people around me. What a great book!!! All of them are wonderful and the movie is heartwarming. I have watched it seven times. Take the time to read "JOSHUA" as you won't regret it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joshua is a beautiful and inspiring story. After about half way through the book however, it became obvious that the author had an ax to grind with the Catholic church in particular and organized Christian religion in general. I have never experienced the evils attributed to the catholic church so I found it offensive. It seems to me that numberous sections where Joshua hammers away at the catholic church serve only to reinforce unfortunate stereo types.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book "Joshua" was awesome. It opened my eyes to a new light of God. To think that someone in the 20th century could live a life like that is amazing.