40 days of devotions to Christmas
David ColeShort, daily readings for Advent - stories from Celtic lore, contemplations, New Testament readings and prayers.
The book restates the case for a Lent-style 40 days of preparation before Christmas, something once universally observed by the Church and still practised by some traditions. As such it does a commendable job by offering a short, daily reading of 2-3 pages: a story from Celtic lore, a contemplation, a New Testament reading and a prayer. It focuses on spiritual and emotional concepts, such as waiting, generosity, impatience, mystery and hospitality, all well chosen to build towards the ultimate purpose of this time of preparation. As with most books on Celtic Christianity, the actual source material is of variable date and provenance, a form of spirituality that is popular but also famously hard to pin down to the hard evidence of written sources. As such it encompasses a wide range of colourful material, including some very early texts but extending to much later Celtic-style musings. But this is not a history book, and does a commendable job in giving references for all its quotations. That alone helps to justify the rich mix of northerly Christian cultures that are used to illuminate this journey towards the Nativity.
Reviewed by Nick Mayhew-Smith
Reflection / Meditation / Spirituality
Festivals - Advent & Christmas