Monday, December 19, 2011
Book Review: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Christmas is almost upon us, but it's not too late to savor an Advent anthology full of good teaching. This book, which also came recommended by Becky Pliego, is very short, but each chapter comes filled with great insights and reminders about this very special time of year. The sources range from theologians of old such as St. Augustine and John Calvin to modern-day pastors and scholars such as J.I. Packer, R.C. Sproul, and J. Ligon Duncan, III.
This book contains 22 fairly brief readings, and they're the perfect length for truly savoring words and thinking about different aspects of the Advent story. I really liked how Guthrie arranged the book. We begin with a piece by George Whitefield contemplating the meaning of Christmas, and then other authors take us piece by piece through the different elements of the season as we learn about Mary, the shepherds, the meaning of the wise men's story, and so on. It all finally ends with a piece by Joni Eeareckson Tada which once again contemplates Christmas as a whole, but rather than looking forward to Christmas Day, her writing points the reader to Christ coming again as she proclaims,"Christmas is an invitation to a celebration yet to happen."
Not only does this book make one think on Christmas as we savor the words of some excellent teachers, but it also helps to center one. There are so many reminders of why Christmas is truly important throughout these texts, and that made reading this book such a delight. If you're looking for some meaningful reading this Advent, Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus is another book I highly recommend.