As the Advent season approaches, I look forward to spending time with Enuma Okoro‘s beautifully written book, Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent. Okoro invites readers to dwell in trust of God, opening to unexpected possibilities. She first draws us into the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah, exploring the sorrow and longing they experienced before the joy of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. They lived faithfully, with longings and hopes in their hearts; eventually, their prayers were answered. What would it be like to receive a vision from God, a surprising and life-giving word? How must that have felt for Elizabeth and Zechariah? How would it feel for you?
Advent, which begins this year on December 2, provides a special season to think about God coming into our lives. However, God also is already present. Even as we wait faithfully, practicing introspection and preparing our hearts to receive God, we are called to support one another. Waiting can be “a time to dwell in holy friendship,” cultivating trust together, as Mary and Elizabeth did in the scriptures.
Like our ancestors in faith, we, too, are called to accept God’s invitations. Advent can be a time to nurture “space for holy listening,” and to open to God’s vision for our lives in the year to come.
This powerful and thought-provoking book ends with a brief guide for small groups, as well as Advent wreath candle-lighting meditations. I highly recommend Okoro’s book for individuals, congregations, or study groups.
May we believe in God’s endless, often surprising possibilities for our lives.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. No fee was received for this review.