(BRF Advent Book 2011)
Not another book of Bible readings…and for the time of year when every moment disappears frighteningly fast. Surely there is an over-abundance of such material?
But this book is different as it ranges each day, from 1 December to 6 January, on an incredible journey through the Bible, demonstrating time and again the love shown by God to mankind, who repeatedly, often seemingly wilfully, appears to delight in rejecting Him.
Each day focuses on a Bible passage from Genesis through to Revelation with comments and questions, ending with a short reflection.
Thus, on Christmas Eve, the chosen passage is 1 John 4:7-21 where the references range from Aldous Huxley through to Harry Belafonte and Superman! All are relevant, as the questions posed are ‘whom did God send?’, ‘why was he sent?’ and ‘what was achieved?’
With very skilful writing, using personal examples to demonstrate the contemporary relevance of the Bible passages, this book succeeds and I found myself looking forward to the surprises in store for the next day. Never predictable; where is the logic of Nehemiah being followed by 2 Chronicles on subsequent days, for example?
Each day’s study could be read in ten minutes but I repeatedly found myself going off down all the side roads offered in the text. Perhaps this is the joy of a book written by someone who teaches; they have the skill to dangle a carrot of knowledge for their reader to reach out towards.
Whatever your starting point this book of readings brings home the amazing invitation from God, to allow him to accompany us on the rest of our incredible journey through life.
Even if you have never before bought yourself such a book can I suggest you try this, call it an early Christmas present to help through the hustle and bustle of preparation, you won’t regret it!
Reviewed by Heather Armstrong