Sunday, November 15, 2015

Time to Get Ready: An Advent, Christmas Reader to Wake Your Soul by Mark Villano

Advent is almost here so it is definitely Time to Get Ready for Advent and ultimately Christmas. There are many Advent devotionals available but I think this one stands out among them. It is steeped in scripture and include many quotes and stories to help the reader get more out of their spiritual life during this time of year. I liked that the readings are included at the beginning of each chapter. There is a description that unpacks the biblical message then a scriptural response. At the end of each chapter there is a summary statement that packs a punch.
We are introduced the idea of chronos and kairos to measure time. Chronos is linear time and Kairos is God's time. But we are not just passively waiting but we are called to action. We are called to bring ourself as gift to others during this season of preparation. When the author speaks "God does not want to fit comfortably into our schedule. God wants to be a living presence in our lives, fire in our hearts." This is evidence of God's call  in our lives to minister to others. First we have to find our true selves "Come to know yourself better and you will be able to know others better as well. Be happy with who you are and who you aren’t. You will see more clearly the One who gave you your true self."
From the beginning of advent to the epiphany, Time to Get ready will keep you engaged. For instance with quotes like this "An epiphany is defined as a manifestation of Christ. Franciscan author Richard Rohr, in Everything Belongs, gives his own twist to that definition: an epiphany is a place where God is both hidden and revealed. Perfectly hidden and perfectly revealed — like the manger or the cross. Not everyone is looking for those epiphanies, not everyone sees. But those who do will “ gather together.” Their journeys converge in Bethlehem. Their hearts “thrill and rejoice.”
I would recommend this book to you for inspiration during your Advent and Christmas season. The format is easy to follow. The author's voice is conversational and punctuated with scripture throughout the book. Time to Get Ready will help you make the most of your waiting for the Incarnation when God is with us in history, mystery and majesty.

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