Two Christmas books
As (in ministry terms at least) Christmas gets nearer very quickly, our thoughts soon turn to evangelistic resources, and rightly so. There are lots of good ones and those of us in church leadership should be praying and planning for how we make the most of this golden opportunity.
But it’s not only a good time to reach unbelievers. Christmas is also a good time to exhort and encourage believers. And I’ve recently read two books that will do just that. The first is by Willie Philip and is called “Song for a Saviour’s birth.” It’s not out until end October, but it’s worth putting on pre-order. It’s a classic set of five sermons working through the songs in Luke’s gospel. Each is (or was) a sermon, I guess, so you can imagine the sort of thing. It’s clear, careful and heart-warming.
Slightly different is Tim Chester’s new advent book. Called “The One True Story” it is a series of advent devotionals numbered – surprise, surprise – one through twenty-four (like a proper advent candle, there is no twenty-five). I read this in the summer, as far from Christmas as you can possibly get, and it stirred my heart greatly. We shall use it in our family devotions this year, and I encourage you to do the same – and get your church reading it too. The idea behind the book is to trace through Bible themes as they are fulfilled in Christ, some obvious (the anointed one, the suffering servant) some less so (the new ark, the whisper). So, and here’s the clever part, as you read you are not only being encouraged with Christ, you’re learning biblical theology and how to read the whole Bible well. For that reason alone, we leaders should be encouraging our people to read it.
Christmas is not just for unbelievers.