Merry Christmas, H&M friends scattered far and wide. We hope your Advent was meaningful as we pondered the hard times in which we live and the true hope of God’s coming again to make good on the promises of restoration, completing the work of incarnation and redemption. As our friend Lisa Sharon Harper puts it in the subtitle of her must-read book about reconciliation within the Biblical narrative, The Very Good Gospel, we look for “how everything wrong can be made right.” Or, in C.S. Lewis’s simple phrase, we want God to heal the situation of being “always Winter but never Christmas.” Indeed, once Aslan is on the move in Narnia, “winter began stirring backwards” in what some call the “great reversal.” Christ has come! Christmas is here! The curse is being reversed! We eagerly now sing “Joy to the World” but the time of Advent reminded us that the story is not yet finished, that we endure much in this broken world and that Jesus will return and make all things (re)new(ed.) Far as the curse is found!
Now, we are in the joyous 12 Days of Christmas. Don’t you dare take your tree down yet and don’t stop singing the carols! Given that the wise men gave gifts to baby Jesus (on what we now call Epiphany) you can’t even put that gift wrap away yet. Are you excited? Merry Christmastime!
Of course, like any other retail place, we have to have “after Christmas” sales, but we want to reconfigure this, with tongue just a little bit in cheek, as a 12 Days of Christmas Sale. After all, it can’t be an “after Christmas” sale when we are in the middle of Christmas-time!
To wit. For the next 12 Days these 12 Advent books are an extra 12% off. We had ’em at 20% off before, so now they are, until supplies run out, discounted to 32% off. You can read these yet this season, or hold them until next year when you can use them or give them as gifts or start a book club. Stock up now. This sale ends January 5th, 2019.
Here are 12 books on sale for 12 days for an extra12 percent off. 12/12/12 — get it?
Again, that extra 12% off = 32% off. While supplies last. Offer expires January 5, 2019.
Advent: The Once & Future Coming of Jesus Christ Rev. Fleming Rutledge (Eerdmans) $30.00
If I get around to doing our annual Best Books Awards in a week or two, this will surely be on the top of that list. What an amazing collection of sermons, 400 pages of them, some quite extensive, some shorter, some from Sunday morning services, others maybe from evening services, preached over many years, many in her own parish in New York City. This meaty but beautiful work comes at us with what Duke theologian and Bible scholar Richard Hays described as “the same elemental force as the preaching of John the Baptist” and what poet and writer Marilyn McEntyre called, “Invigorating — edgy, intelligent, unflinching, and joyful in all it reclaims.” This is very, very highly recommended for anyone wanting to understand what Advent is supposed to be about — namely, training us to live “between the times” as we long for God’s ways and Christ’s second coming. It is interesting that the liturgical color for Advent is the same purple as in Lent. This season is no “countdown to Christmas” but a time of lament and social prophecy, personal and corporate repentance, and living into apocalyptic hope. This book is important and a true gift to our deepening understanding of living between the times.
Advent Conspiracy: Making Christmas Meaningful (Again) Rick McKinley, Chris Seay & Greg Holder (Zondervan) $14.99 Every year we convince somebody to use (and they thank us!) the Advent Conspiracy DVDs where these three youngish, hip, pastors share with Biblical acumen and honest communication just how hard it is to preach during Advent, how so many church folks are seduced — maybe even against their will and better judgement — by the materialism of the mall and the sentimentalism of our current views of the holidays. Whose birthday is it anyway? How can we subvert those tellings of the tale, and get back to the raw and edgy and controversial and somewhat disturbing narratives of the Bible itself? The videos are clever and interesting and upbeat; the book is fantastic. These pastors joined together to take the risk of inviting their congregants to spend less, give more, worship well, and love everybody. They expected a lot of push-back, it seems, but folks were relieved; you mean we don’t have to live like this, enduring this stress and debt and anxiety in December? Members young and old from all three churches agreed — we can say no to the secularized narrative and search out another set of practices, grounded in the truest meaning of the story. Now there’s some subversive stuff!
The Advent Conspiracy book is so good, and I very highly recommend it. Don’t be scared — you can do it! If we don’t sell a few more of these I will be depressed for months, so come on! If you don’t need help “substituting compassion for consumption” maybe you don’t need these four simple but powerful countercultural concepts to guide you and yours. But I think this experiment, this project, this conspiracy, could be a great thing for you and yours. I’m not just saying this: almost everybody who uses this in December says they wish they’d have studied it sooner in the year. You really should get it now and plan something for next year. (This is, by the way, the newly revised and expanded 2018 edition of the book. We’ve got the DVD, too, if you’re interested.)
The One True Story: Daily Readings for Advent from Genesis to Jesus Tim Chester (The Good Book Company) $7.99 You may recall us saying (in either this year’s Advent newsletter blog or maybe last years) that this is truly one of the very best books to show the unfolding drama of Scripture as it moves us towards the “dawn of redeeming grace.” In fact, it may be that Christ’s coming is more the beginning of the conclusion and fuller consummation of a longer story, since the dawn was hinted at in covenant and hope and promise in stories from Genesis onward. That’s what this book is about. The One True Story paperback has 24 short meditative readings on bible stories, including ideas for reflection, prayer, and even application. These devotionals truly offer Bible-based, gospel-centered, promise and deliverance, hope and joy. HIi
Advent for Everyone: A Journey With the Apostles N.T. Wright (WJK) $16.00 Who wouldn’t want to dip into daily devotionals by one of the world’s leading Christian writers? The provides “an inspirational guide through the Advent season, from the first Sunday in Advent to the Saturday after the Fourth Sunday in Advent.” You get Tom’s own translation of the Pauline texts and his discussion of key themes, fro thanksgiving and patience, humility and joy.
Advent for Everyone: Luke N.T. Wright (WJK) $16.00 This is the new month-long, Advent devotional from Wright, about which the super-smart former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, said, “Tom Wright is, as always, brilliant at distilling immense scholarship into vivid, clear, and accessible form.” This is so true — and this is a great example. Clear as a bell, powerful, inspiring, it explores the gospel themes of faith, repentance, justice, and celebration.
Blue Christmas: Devotions of Light in a Season of Darkness Todd Outcalt (Abingdon) $9.99 I think this is so good, so important, so helpful, and I invite you to buy one or two on sale and wait for the opportunity to share them with somebody you know. This devotional accompanies the reader through the four weeks of Advent with Scripture, meditation, prayer and suggested application, as many such books do, but with an expectation that the reader gloomy or sad, in grief or perplexed with hard times. Can those walking in darkness find comfort in the Light? Even though this season often magnifies loneliness and anxiety (and sometimes despair) with “death’s dark shadows” this honest devotional “meets people where they are — in their hurts, fears, and disappointments.”
Wounded in Spirit: Advent Art and Meditations David Bannon (Paraclete Press) $29.99 I raved about this earlier in the season, explaining that Bannon is himself a bit of a hurting man (he’s had some of his own struggles and his adult daughter died in an awful story.) Alas, he has been drawn to paintings that evoke lament and that honor the grief of these hard times. The paintings are mostly older, classic, even (Gauguin, Delacroix, Van Gogh, and more) and often done by artists who themselves were facing deep disappointments. Besides his own informative and tender prose, Bannon adds remarkable lines from poets and writers and thinkers — from N.T. Wright to Barbara Brown Taylor, Philip Yancey, Bonhoeffer, Nouwen, Paul Tournier, Joan of Arc, and more. He shares a bit about the latest research on grief. Yet, these rich daily reflections are more than an admitted “pilgrimage of brokenness.” Wounded in Spirit is a book of lovely, tangible hope. We sold out of this in the first week after we highlighted it and ordered more. A few customers even re-ordered, having given away the one they purchased from themselves. We have a stack still, now, so why not pick one up at this extra discounted price? I assure you, it will be useful to read at any time of year and a favorite you will return to over and over.
Time to Get Ready: An Advent, Christmas Reader to Wake Your Soul Mark A. Villano (Paraclete Press) $16.99 We raved about this in an earlier Advent BookNotes newsletter — Villano has a MDiv from Catholic University, has done campus ministry, he has an MFA from the School of Cinematic Arts at USC so has done some pretty nifty stuff. I’m impressed. This substantive book is both gentle and deeply in the tradition of contemplative formation even as it is richly colorfu and culturally relevant Endorsements are from contemplatives like Ron Rolheiser and Wilkie Au. Rose Pacatte says it “breathes silence and grace as Villano draws from Scripture, literature, film and life to create this gentle tome for Advent.” Nice.
Light upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany compiled by Sarah Arthur (Paraclete Press) $18.99 We have often touted this and the others in her trilogy of “prayer books” filled with literary quotes and poems, excerpts of novels and stories, good lines for devotional use, offered for daily and weekly settings. The others are At the Still Point: A Literary Guide to Prayer in Ordinary Time and Between Midnight and Dawn: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide. All are handsome paperbacks with “French Fold” covers, full of good lit, classic and contemporary, artful and useful. Endorsements on the back from the likes of musician and theological aesthetics scholar Jeremy Begbie and poet Luci Shaw and lit prof Jilll Pelaez Baumgaertner are, understandably, enchanting.
By the way, you might know Sarah Arthur’s name from a devotional she did called Walking with Frodo: A Devotional Journey Through the Lord of the Rings, or for last year’s award winning co-written memoir about discipleship, The Year of Small Things: Radical Faith for the Rest of Us, or, more recently, her marvelous, A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle.
God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas (Reader’s Edition) edited by Greg Pennoyer & Gregory Wolfe (Paraclete Press) $18.99 This has been a perennial best seller for us, especially back when it was loaded with full color art. Alas, this is not that, but as a “Reader’s Edition” focuses one’s attention on the wisdom and eloquence and deep insight of authors Beth Bevis, Scott Cairns, Emilie Griffin, Richard John Neuhaus, Kathleen Norris, Eugene Peterson and Luci Shaw. Pennnoyer & Wolfe (formerly editor of Image journal) used their thoughtful theological and aesthetic training to bring beautiful writing to us in what remains on of our era’s most remarkable Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany resources.
Jesus Calling for Christmas Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) $15.99 I suppose you know the mega-selling Jesus Calling and the others in that hugely popular series of books. Their genre is simple and moving — author Sarah Young imagines what it might be like if Jesus wrote a real letter to her, offering presence and assurance and comfort and joy. Of course, this is all imagined, so you needn’t listen to any grouchy critics that suggest she implies these are “real” revelations like some new age prophecy. No, this is just an imaginative, time-worn genre, doing a short, touching devotional format supposing God is calling out to us, writing to us personally. Kinda like the incarnation, eh?
This square sized book has a nice padded cover edition, a bit bigger than the palm-sized Jesus Calling, Jesus Waiting, and Jesus Lives. There are plenty of Biblical texts and much evangelical tenderness. By the way, the inside of Jesus Calling for Christmas is laden with beautiful, full-color, wintery photos, making this just a beautiful little gift book for this time of year; the nice cover hardly does it justice. It is all very nicely presented and a very nice book. We’ve got some left, so order them while supplies last.
O Wisdom: Advent Devotions on the Names of Jesus Rachel Jones, editor (Forward Movement) $7.00 This is a nice little devotional of short daily readings (and a few poems and lots of quotes from the Book of Common Prayer) all drawing on and pointing us to the “O Antiphons.” There are bidding prayers and collects from St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle and woodcuts from St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Nashville but the writing is a compilation of various writers, mostly ordinary folks, each drawing on the names of Jesus as presented in Isaiah.
As it says on the back, “Songs of thanks and praise, of lament and longing, or restoration and return have been on our lips for millennia. The verse of the ancient hymn, the O Antiphons, explore and celebrate the many names of Jesus.” These prayers have been used since at least, if not before, the 8th century and present a way for us to “sing along with the story of God, to ponder and praise.”
12 Books / 12 Days / 12 Extra
offer expires Saturday, January 5, 2019
The usual BookNotes 20% discount + an extra 12% off
this takes you to the secure Hearts & Minds order form page
just tell us what you want
if you have questions or need more information
just ask us what you want to know
Hearts & Minds 234 East Main Street Dallastown PA 17313