Twenty-five readings from literature in anticipation of the coming Christ.
Last year, Missy composed a series of advent meditations for our old blog. Looking to the great authors for guidance, she found a treasure-trove of story and poetry, all with man's desperate need for a Savior and the miracle of Christ's nativity as its thematic content. This year, we have compiled these posts into a beautiful, easy-to-use, 120-page ebook just in time for your Christmas preparations. As you ready your home for the coming season, consider readying your heart and soul, together reading aloud with your family or quietly yourself, by reflecting on the wonder of our Savior's birth day-by-day throughout December alongside dear friends like G.K. Chesterton, Madeleine L'Engle, C.S. Lewis, and more.
Here are Missy's own words, taken from the preface to A Literary Advent:
Christmas remains one of the single most celebrated days in the Christian calendar. Cultural attempts to memorialize this, while full of festival fun and glitz, fall short of the mark, often making profane what is holy. In an attempt to reclaim the season from commercialism and teach our children to honor the true significance of the season, my husband and I began our advent tradition some twenty years ago. Crafting a calendar out of felt and hot glue, we pieced together the prophecies and narrative foreshadowings of the Messiah from the Old Testament passages. Each evening, we’d settle the kids down before lit candles with some warm holiday beverage to read the next text, and before too long, they had learned that the “right” answer to all of the advent questions was “Jesus!” I can still hear their little voices calling it out now, clear bells ringing in the season.
The old calendar still hangs in its place on our living room wall though Joseph’s coat lacks a few of its colorful stripes and the Israelites’ memorial in the Jordan is now short a few stones. Though grown, the kids still anticipate our advent tradition. Teenagers and adults, however, they have moved past flannelgrams to philosophy and are prepared to think more deeply about the significance of the season.
Considering our family love affair with literature, I turned naturally to the classics to satisfy this need. There I discovered a broad treasury of poetic meditations on the subject from some of the Western canon’s most gifted authors. I offer this to you, a Christmas gift, in hope that the profound implications of the incarnation would captivate your family, too. May we together be left with the Name of Jesus on our lips, raising our voices with the great cloud of witnesses to proclaim the Advent “answer,” clear bells ringing in the season.