As I have mentioned previously here on Idol Chatter, one spiritual tradition I have developed
in the last few years is picking one book to accompany my journey through the advent season. Doing so has brought home the season’s importance far more than decorations or candles or even music.
This Sunday will mark the beginning of the advent season, so once again I would like to offer any interested Idol Chatter readers in a few suggestions for devotional reading during the next four weeks.
The Meaning is in the Waiting:
This book came out last year, but it is the book I am using this year to take me through advent. Author Paula Gooder uses John the Baptist , Abraham and Sarah, as well as Mary to reflect on what the Bible says about the spiritual practice of waiting, which of course is the very nature of advent itself. It has some great intellectual insight as well as devotional readings.
The Advent Conspiracy:
Several emergent church pastors joined together in this newly released book to bring believers a fresh, challenging look at thie reason for the season. “The Advent Conspiracy” has an emphasis on social justice over commercialism, and there is a companion DVD and other small group materials that make this a perfect resource for churches to incorporate into their worship this season. The book challenges believers to focus on four spiritual principles this season:worship fully, spend less, give more, love all. The accompanying website has a lot of great suggestions on how you can do that, too.
Living the Christian Year
This book is not entirely devoted to the advent season, but it is an excellent look at trying to be more attentive as a Christian to the liturgical calendar. There are devotionals in this book that take you through advent , into Christmas , and then to the epiphany.
God With Us:
I recommended this gorgeous coffee table book put together by those incredibly cultured folks over at Image Journal, but I recommend it again this year because it really is the best book I can think of to pull out year after year to celebrate the entire season. It’s a little pricey, but there are gorgeous photos and brilliant essays by the top Christian authors of today.