Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Hardcover, 2014





Though Christians the world over make yearly preparations for Lent, there's a conspicuous lack of good books for that other great spiritual season: Advent. All the same, this four-week period leading up to Christmas is making a comeback as growing numbers reject shopping-mall frenzy and examine the deeper meaning of the season. Ecumenical in scope, these fifty devotions invite the reader to contemplate the great themes of Christmas and the significance that the coming of Jesus has for each of us - not only during Advent, but every day. Whether dipped into at leisure or used on a daily basis, Watch for the Light gives the phrase "holiday preparations" new depth and meaning. Includes writings by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, Sylvia Plath, J. B. Phillips, Friedrich Wilhelm Foerster, Henri Nouwen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Kathleen Norris, Meister Eckhart, St. Thomas Aquinas, Karl Rahner, Isaac Penington, Madeleine L'Engle, Alfred Delp, Loretta Ross-Gotta, William Stringfellow, J. Heinrich Arnold, Edith Stein, Philip Britts, Jane Kenyon, John Howard Yoder, Emmy Arnold, Karl Barth, Oscar Romero, William Willimon, Johann Christoph Arnold, Gail Godwin, Leonardo Boff, G. M. Hopkins, Evelyn Underhill, Dorothy Day, Brennan Manning, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Romano Guardini, Annie Dillard, Martin Luther, St. John Chrysostom, Giovanni Papini, Dorothee Soelle, C. S. Lewis, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Philip Yancey, J. T. Clement, Thomas Merton, Eberhard Arnold, Ernesto Cardenal, T. S. Eliot, John Donne, Gian Carlo Menotti and Jürgen Moltmann.… (more)



Plough Publishing House (2014), 344 pages

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(37 ratings; 4)

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LibraryThing member Osbaldistone
I try to read through this collection every Advent, as close to a daily reading as I can. This is a fine collection, ranging from brief meditations to mini-sermons, collected from nearly the entire history of Christian thought. Every year, I find something (usually several somethings) that finds me
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and speaks to me wherever I am that year. It's not all easy to hear - this isn't just a collection of "Oh how wonderful it is that Christ comes to save us" writings, though some of the gems in this collection are in that vein. But, there are plenty of well argued ideas on how to respond to this revelation. Highly recommended for any thoughtful Christian.

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LibraryThing member PointedPundit
A New Outlook

I will admit it.

I am not, generally, enamored with devotional guides. Their simple message often leaves me wanting.

That was not the case with this book, which I received as a gift. Perhaps it was the year. I work for a large retail chain. Two days before Thanksgiving, I found myself
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loathing the “Christmas Music” being played in the store to create a seasonal buying mood.

In past years Advent was a time for me to contemplate Christ’s birth. This past year it turned into a time of contrasting emotions. Eager to reunite with my family, the store’s frenzy left me frazzled and indifferent. I lost sight, frankly, of the reason for the season.

For that reason, this book was exactly what I needed. This anthology contained a daily essay from some of the best spiritual writers. Each daily reading gave me a fresh outlook on the true meaning of the holiday season.
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LibraryThing member sergerca
A very nice, daily devotional for the Advent and Christmas season. It is not exclusively Catholic (if that matters to you) but almost all of the entries are worthwhile - some more than others. It is a bit heavy on the liberation theology prominent in Central and South America, but these entries
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still have their own positive aspects.

All in all, a worthwhile few minutes each day of the season. I'll try another next year.
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LibraryThing member eheinlen
This book was great! It provides readers with short stories to help them remember the reason for Advent and Christmas and help them slow down and appreciate the purpose of the season.
LibraryThing member ManipledMutineer
A thought-provoking series of readings from a wide range of authors for Advent and Christmastide. From a Catholic publishing house but oecumenical in its choice of sources. Perhaps a little over-heavily weighted towards modern texts, but good nonetheless.
LibraryThing member empress8411
This is a wide-reaching collection, pulling from many authors (male and female), across continents, countries, eras, and denominations. The entries are poems and essays, and focus on many different aspects of the Christmas story and the Life of Christ.

My favorites were Blumhardt's Action in Waiting
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(Nov. 24), Britt's Yielding to God (Dec. 9), Yoder's The Original Revolution (Dec. 11), Arnold's Be Not Afraid (Dec. 15), Day's Room for Christ (Dec. 19) and Moltmann's The Disarming Child.

I found this encouraging and thought-provoking. During the Holidays there is often the preasure to Experience God in some deep and meaningful way. But I rarely do. While this book didn't give me some life-altering epiphany, but I found peace in many of the messages.
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