ISBN 978 1 5140 0018 2
119 pp

The Christian year is relentless. No sooner do we pack away the Harvest Festival things and navigate Light Parties for All Saints Day we begin to think of Christmas. Yet before we get there, we have the season of Advent. Tish Harrison Warren has produced a delightful guide to the season.

The five chapters lead the reader through: Yearning – Longing – Crying Out – Stirring – Approaching.

This book would be an excellent guide to celebrating the season; it would be useful for personal devotions but also as a primer for the service leader or preacher as they lead their congregations through the season.

A companion volume in the same fulness of time series is
Emily Hunter McGowin – Christmas
ISBN 978 1 5140 0040 3
149 pages

This guide explores the historical origins before leading the readers through the theological implications of the Christmas season. As a preacher for more than four decades I have always loved Christmas. Yet for some it can be the “best and worst of times”.

The author helps us refocus our attention on the central figure of the Christmas story amidst the various distractions that seek to derail us during the season.

There are many good things here, but I did not find this book as compelling as Harrison’s book on Advent.

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.