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An Invitation to Taste and See this Advent Season

An Invitation to Taste and See this Advent Season October 22, 2014

BC_TasteandSee_1The sacred anticipation of Advent and the joy of Christmastide often seem dimmed and fraught for leaders in the Church because they can’t imagine a new way to come at those familiar stories and themes. In her new book, Taste & See: Experiencing the Stories of Advent and Christmas, spiritual director Jan Johnson offers a fresh lens with which to study, reflect and live into the narratives of the principle characters in the Matthew and Luke stories that are part of our Advent, Christmas and Epiphany heritage.

In a four week study with daily opportunities to read, reflect, journal and pray, Johnson designs a pathway for small groups or individuals to enter into the stories of the anticipation, birth and reactions to the coming of Jesus in small increments, with helpful notes from Biblical studies and cultural contexts that allow imagination to take hold. She creates particular comments and questions for each unit of the ongoing story, and then follows with some general questions that can help the reader find her own place in the story. I would use it eagerly with a small group I was leading in a church or community for which I was responsible.

The suggestion is made that this can be used with families, yet I found that the activities that used art or might invite small children were under-developed, and would need to be supplemented with more supplies and shape than coloring books and pieces of the crèche. Nevertheless, for families with older children and for groups of that want focused study, even for people who want to delve more deeply into the personalities of these stories, to let themselves be taught by the journey of another, this is a worthy and helpful book, and will illuminate and lighten the imagination as Advent, Christmas and Epiphany begin a new Christian year.

Read an excerpt from Taste & See – and experience a guided mediation with the author – at the Patheos Book Club here!


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