Books reviewed by James Woodward

Journey through Advent

Disturbing Complacency: Preparing for Christmas by Lisa BodenheimDisturbing Complacency: Preparing for Christmas, Lisa Bodenheim, (Wild Goose Publications) 2007

While few of us really believe in divisive categories when faced with Christmas my friends and colleagues divide into two groups: those who love Christmas and those who loathe it!  Further, it is a symptom of our busy and crowded lives that we spend too little time preparing, listening and reflecting.  Advent as the season of preparation for Christmas gets lost amidst our preoccupations and busyness.

This book makes a plea for us to prepare for the birth of Christ by ‘stretching our faith and disturbing our comfort’ (p9).  The splendidly organised resources here long for the reader to honour God more intimately, so that we may find the life that is ‘green and blossoming’.

Four weeks offer the themes: Unveiled, Fear, Honour and Gifts with each day of those week weeks having a theme: Spirit, Creation, Bible, Money, Nation, Jesus and Resistance.

We are offered scripture, extracts from theological writers, poetry, reflection and challenges.  We are required to make the connections and respond to the challenges.  What is offered is a radical vision, not a ‘cosy’ view of Christmas, as we are asked to consider some fundamental issues of our time.  The text, insightful and well crafted, never disappoints

One small criticism.  The repetition of the candle image, which is not well reproduced, was a mild irritant to this reviewer.  Some energy and imagination might have been given to reproducing a wider range of images that could have deepened the impact of the text.

However, this inspired book will accompany my journey through Advent in the hope of change and a deeper awareness of the demands of faith.

James Woodward