An Advent Manifesto
Author Martyn Percy
Publisher BRF £9.99
There are many good books which steer us through the Advent season, but this has a somewhat different approach and gives a fresh insight into this special time of year. The title presents us with a challenge from the outset. Will we take the manifesto of Jesus – love for absolutely everyone – out into the world, and play our part in establishing God’s kingdom?
Martyn Percy’s language is blunt, soul-searching and not for the faint-hearted. We are to become immersed in penitence and expectancy, seeing Christianity as a political faith for the present, and a continuing of God’s work until Jesus comes again.
For those favouring a structured approach, you will not be disappointed. During the four weeks of Advent, beginning on the Monday leading up to Advent Sunday, each weekday has a reflection exclusively from the first few chapters of Luke’s gospel. These are examined from a Lectio Divina perspective, connecting us more intimately with the living God, and encouraging us to be transformed through the sacred reading of Scripture. Each weekend has a longer meditation centred on canticles from Isaiah, to be absorbed on both Saturday and Sunday – days of anticipation and resurrection. The Advent antiphons are appropriately included, and the twelve days of Christmas covered, taking us to Epiphany and onward to Candlemas. Each reflection comes with a prayer and ideas for further contemplation.
What an achievement! Ancient traditions lifted into the present, beautiful songs of Magnificat and Benedictus revisited, poets and prophets interspersed, and modern devotional writers playing their part! A perfect choice for Advent study – do not let this one slip away!
Reviewed by BETTY TAYLOR