ISBN 9 781346 004523
Price £16.99
182 pages

As I write this there are still a few shopping days left before the beginning of Advent. If you have not chosen one yet, why not consider this one.

This is a beautifully produced hardback book providing reflections, prayers, and artwork for the 24 days of Advent and a bonus section for Christmas Day. Orr-Ewing writes with the aim of helping the reader to hear Mary’s voice in the Nativity story.

Evangelical Christians are often a bit nervous about giving Mary too much attention. She is like a musician whose contribution to a recording has been turned down in the mix. This author sits at the mixing desk and adjusts the levels so that we can hear the richness textures of Mary’s distinctive voice.

The author is a woman, a mother, a Christian, and a theologian. Each of these four identities are used to illuminate Mary’s story. I like the way that the author brings out how Mary’s deep faith and scriptural knowledge shaped her words and actions.

I also like the way that the author draws on her own experience of pregnancy and birth to reflect on this remarkable young woman in the biblical story, faced with the challenge of being a teenage mother at the epicentre of God’s arrival on earth.

This is a feast that feeds the mind, stirs the imagination and blesses the soul.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.