I posted the other day on the lovely, lovely new book published by Paraclete, an Advent devotional called God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas edited by Greg Pennoyer & Gregory Wolfe. I could have written a longer review, naming its lavish quality, how much art there is–surprising stuff, interesting works, a wide range of styles and artists from various ages, including works that capture the essential human condition. (That is, they are not all Biblical scenes.) With a classy ribbon marker, it really is handsome. I wanted you to know it is a very nice volume.
I thought I’d try to quote some from the fairly significant introduction by Peterson; you may know that I like his writing style, and his Reformed vision that it is this Earth that is good, this creation that was so lovingly created is entered into by Jesus, is redeemed, thereby affirming our essential humanness and daily stuff, ahhhh, this is rich stuff. I couldn’t find a simple paragraph, as each one builds on the next. It is vintage-style Eugene, and I’m trying even now to quote him for an essay I have to write for our local paper. Anyway, that is just the beginning.
If you long to know more about the more liturgical styles of worship, the spirituality that is attentive to the seasons and rhythms of the church calendar, this is really nice. As devotional literature, I’m finding it well worth pondering, and I keep carrying it around to different parts of the house (as do my wife and oldest daughter.) We wanted to again tell you how great this book is.
The blog special is still in effect; check out the last post for the discounted price, and the great free book offer.
Another thing I’ll add, and it is also a great, great option for your holiday gift buying and personal enjoyment. The very esteemed and smart young guys who call themselves Jars of Clay have a new Christmas recording out, Christimas Songs. They’ve won Grammy’s and stand out among their CCM peers as one of the best bands playing today, musically, artistically, lyrically. We respect them immensely and really enjoy their music. I’ve prayed for them as they’ve been in the studio last year doing this, and feel connected to this…that they thank, again, in the liner notes our friend Steve Garber is indicative of something important, and some 6 degree thing…
The new Christmas disc is their signature style, very contemporary, edgy just a bit, acoustic rock. If you’ve enjoyed their praise and hymns projects, Christmas Songs is a CD you will surely want to get. They do some great old time Christmas songs, some rare, very interesting ones, a few new ones, and even redeem what I’ve sometimes said was my least favorite Christmas pop song ever. Only this band can do that, and Jars has the spiritual and intellectual and social insight to know what a project like this is all about. They’ve done a companion, small hardback book, too, with matching cover, called Peace is Here. Proceeds, you should know, go to their extraordinary Blood:Water Mission. More on that, later…
Jars of Clay