I know, and I am sorry, okay?!
I know it’s only the 5th of November and that Christmas shouldn’t even be a topic right now, but if you want to have some good books in time for the Christmas season then I need to write this post!
If you’re anything like me, Christmas comes around before you know it and you haven’t really had time to prepare. I’m not talking about buying gifts, or coming up with a meal, or getting the house in order. I’m talking about actually taking time to think about Christmas and prepare to celebrate the birth of our Saviour!
Here are four books that can help you prepare this Christmas, in your devotional life, in your general reading, and to equip you to have meaningful conversations with people about the real meaning of Christmas. Later on his week I’ll post about Christmas books for children and Christmas giveaways for churches… stay tuned!
Repeat the Sounding Joy by Christopher Ash
In this book you will find two pages of devotional material that help you walk through the narrative
of the birth of Jesus from Luke 1-2. You will also find a page that gives you a song to sing, a prayer
and a space to write down your thoughts as you reflect on the Nativity story. Christopher Ash
describes Advent as a two edged sword; in it we look back to the coming of Christ, and we look
forward to his return. This devotional will help you wait for the return of Christ this Christmas with joyful expectation, it will lift your eyes to Jesus and make you praise him.
I’ve read a number of Ash’s books and I always enjoy how he finds the balance between giving enough information, without making it too difficult. This book will be a great companion for you as you intentionally take time over advent to stop and think about the significance of Jesus. Ash has written in such a way that you think about the birth of Christ, but you also eager await His return. You’ll be pointed to Christ and you’ll be reminded that He is the One who brings real joy! Buy a copy here.
Christopher Ash has been a pastor, and is now an author and writer-in-residence at Tyndale House, Cambridge. He was Director of the Proclamation Trust’s Cornhill Training Course from 2004-2015. He is married to Carolyn and they have four children and five grandchildren.
The Radiant Dawn by Tom Parsons
Call me a soppy romantic, but I really like the fact that this book first started off as readings that Tom wrote for his wife in 2017. She didn’t have any advent readings at hand and so Tom stepped in, but now we all get to enjoy them!
Tom has written this book in such an easy to read and honest way, but it is jam packed with great insights from the beginning of Luke’s Gospel. In 25 readings you’ll revisit very familiar passages to most of us, but Tom brings out details in his notes that you maybe hadn’t seen before or never took much notice of.
Christmas lights will be going up in just a few weeks (if they aren’t up already), but they’ll be boxed away by January gathering dust until next year. This book takes you to Jesus, the radiant dawn of the day, whose light never fades and it tells the most important story of all time; the story of the birth of the son of God who would take sinful people from darkness to light!
Each devotional is 2 pages long and could easily be done with the whole family at the breakfast table before the mayhem begins. Buy a copy here and be pointed to the true light of Christmas.
Tom Parsons is Vicar of Christ Church, Sidcup, on the south eastern edge of London. He has previously been on the staff at All Souls, Langham Place, in Central London and St John’s, Hensingham, in Whitehaven, West Cumbria.
The Weirdest Nativity by Andrew Each & Jonathan Gemmell
Ask what people how the Christmas story begins they’ll speak about shepherds, a stable, Joseph and Mary and a cute little baby Jesus. But is that really the only description of the nativity scene that we see in Scripture?
This short booklet gives us another perspective on that story and one that we maybe haven’t considered before; it includes a dragon! Jon and Andrew retell the Christmas story from Revelation 12 and they bring to light some of the wonderful promises of Scripture that we know to be true because Christmas exists.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, this year for Christmas, we could tell people something that they maybe hadn’t thought of before and get them to stop reducing Christmas to a manger? Christmas is far more than that and this book brings great insight into that. I devoured this book in an hour because it is so easily written, it’s got great humour in it, but it also leaves you thinking and being challenged.
This is a great little booklet to help you think about Christmas from a different perspective this year, buy a copy here and tell people about the weirdest nativity.
Andrew Sach serves part–time as a pastor at Grace Church Greenwich, and part–time as a tutor on the Cornhill Training Course, helping to train other preachers.
Jonathan Gemmell is Director of Conferences and Resources at The Proclamation Trust. Before this he was Lead Pastor of Bruntsfield Evangelical Church in Edinburgh.
How Christmas can change your life by Josh Moody
Christmas can be a strange time of year for people, it seems to be the one time in the year when everyone comes together and celebrates with presents and a meal. But it isn’t always easy! On top of that, once everyone leaves again, the same struggles come back to the surface. Does Christmas make a difference?
This book shouts a resounding yes! It is written for both the Christian and the non-Christian, both the joyful and the sad, and both for those searching for answers to the questions in life and those who generally want to learn more about Christmas.
Moody writes in a fun way that draws you in, but he also speaks to a lot of real issues and gives real answers. I don’t think that I’ve seen another book like this before but I have certainly enjoyed this and I highly recommend it. This book gives great tips on how to think about, talk about, preach about and even celebrate Christmas… and all of that in just 99 short pages! Buy a copy here and see how Christmas can change your life.
Josh Moody is Senior Pastor of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois.