Advent, which begins this year on December 2, offers an ideal time to carve out space for prayerful reflection within the busyness of daily life. One interesting resource for the season is Exploring Advent with Luke: Four questions for spiritual growth by Timothy Clayton.
The narrative brings together biblical texts and personal experiences from Clayton’s life, helping the reader to notice the relevance of the gospels for contemporary life. With a chapter for each week of Advent, Clayton examines the challenges faced by Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary. Inspired by their responses to God’s work in their lives, Clayton highlights a relevant question for self-examination.
The close study of scripture invites the reader to engage with the emotional life of the characters. Can we have deep trust like Mary, and sense where God may be moving in our lives? The experience of Elizabeth, who wondered why God chose to bless her, reminds us that we, too, have a role to play as part of God’s creation. “Elizabeth is amazed—humbly, wonderfully astounded to find herself as a strand in the great story whose Weaver is in the heavens.”
I appreciated that this book includes reflection questions for the days after December 25, since in the church Christmas continues through the feast of the Epiphany. Stories of Anna and Simeon remind us of the role of Jesus in the story God has been weaving since the time of the earliest prophets.
Along with the author, I hope you will move into the new year “with courage and in joy,” and enjoy many blessings during the Advent season and beyond.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. No fee was received for this review.