Redeeming Advent: pursuing Christ through the haze of tinsel, giftwrap and Lebkuchen by Lucy Rycroft
In this unique devotional, written for busy people, Lucy Rycroft helps us to use the Advent festivities to fix our eyes on Christ, deepening our relationship with the Father God who sent him.
139 pages | Paperback
RRP: UK: £7.95 | USA: $12.00
Published 11 October 2019 - pre-order your copy now
In an ideal world, Advent would be spent in quiet contemplation, meditating upon the wonder of the Christ-child, and anticipating his return as our Saviour.
Instead, we enter arguably the busiest month of the year. Have we booked time off to see the kids' Nativity play? What's the Secret Santa budget? And who became a vegetarian this year?
Perhaps, though, it is this busyness which can be the key to a deeper connection with Christ. Perhaps these Christmas 'trimmings' have the potential to teach us more about God. And, as we open our hearts and minds, perhaps we will discover that the Christmas story was busier, messier and more haphazard than we ever imagined.
In this unique devotional, written for busy people, Lucy Rycroft helps us to use the festivities around us to fix our eyes on Christ, deepening our relationship with the Father God who sent him.
Redeeming Advent is a warm, welcoming feast of an Advent devotional. Lucy’s grounded, empathetic prose draws us in to an abundant treasure-trove of reflections which surround, assure and entice. So many devotional books are difficult to engage with, because they can seem removed from the messy reality of life, but this lovely book shares the raw and chaotic edges of life from the start. Lucy is starkly honest about her struggle to find any kind of Advent discipline, and so this is a collection of thoughts and meditations which will appeal to those whose lives are less than perfect in any way - to those who want to capture the beauty and hope of the Advent period, yet find that their lives are overflowing with mess, busyness, exhaustion or anything which doesn’t match up to the brightly staged TV ads and the flawless Instagram feeds of those whose lives are unblemished. It will particularly appeal to parents with young children, but the relatable wisdom and down-to-earth humour will speak to all those who are seeking something more in the Christmas period. Highly recommended.
As someone who often approaches Christmas with a rather jaded mentality of 'Oh, it’s that time of year again,' I've found Lucy's book, Redeeming Advent, revolutionary and a wonderful blast of fresh air. It is a devotional with a difference, meeting us right in the midst of all the things that make Christmas busy, fun, chaotic, poignant, joyful and overwhelming, then opening our hearts to the awe and wonder of God entering our world as a tiny baby.
Redeeming Advent is full of reality. Lucy ‘gets’ that we can lose the significance, joy and anticipation of Advent under the wrapping paper, mince pies and blind panic that often accompanies the run up to Christmas. It is also full of grace and help! It’s a gentle, humorous, honest and real-life-rooted aid to our being ‘with Jesus’ during the season we celebrate his coming to be with us. We highly commend it!
If like me you are someone who yearns to grow closer to Jesus during Advent but don't always feel like you manage it amidst the busyness and expectations of others, you will be encouraged and inspired by this book so that you can grow closer to Jesus not in spite of but through all the fuss.
With warmth, wit and disarming honesty, Lucy has given us an opportunity to engage in the spiritual significance of Advent. These reflections will enrich your experience of the Christmas season and draw you into the presence of God. Don't let another December get eaten up by stress, over-consumption and exhaustion: join Lucy in redeeming Advent. You will be grateful you did.
What a refreshingly honest read. Lucy shares her life - her own stories and struggles - in this Advent devotional, which seeks to redeem Advent from the endless consumerism that can so easily envelop us. Each of the daily readings includes Lucy’s own thoughts on the four areas she has focused on: redeeming our home, our Christmas celebrations, our hearts and our communities but she also provides the reader with questions to ponder and a prayer to utilise. The devotionals started life on her blog, and they certainly have a polished style that invites you to ponder more deeply. She draws on family life as well as current culture to present an engaging series of readings. If you are a parent you will certainly relate to a lot of her recollections! Often humorous, her writing also invites serious self-reflection. This devotional is well worth engaging with.
If you’re looking for a thought-provoking Advent read, this is it. Lucy Rycroft has taken key points from the biblical account of the Jesus’ birth, and skilfully interwoven them with a blend of family traditions and 21st Century Christmas preparations. Redeeming Advent avoids a sanitised version of Advent, acknowledging that for most of us, this is a frenetic time of year. Instead, short prayers and questions help the reader reflect on how we keep Jesus as our focus in the midst of the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle. Highly recommended!