Blog Post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
Advent has many meanings. Advent is a time for waiting. It is a time for preparation. Advent is a time of expectation and anticipation of the coming of our Lord. In the November/December 2020 edition of Presbyterians Today, Jason Whitehead describes Advent as an opportunity to reset. He writes, “The Advent season is perfect for exploring the possibility of a reset. This season has always been about the Savior sent to reset the world. . . This year, though, we need to be intentional in the spiritual practice of resetting our lives.”
For the past several years, I have used Advent as a time for aggressive reading and inhaling four books over the four-weeks of Advent. My hope is to read stories, concepts, and ideas that make me pause and look for God’s work in my life. By observing the story of others, my hope is to become a little more sensitive, a little more open, a little more empathetic.
And that is my hope for you as well as I leave my role as the Presbytery Leader. The presbytery is pivoting and calibrating a new direction. During this time of transition, the Vision Team is advancing the mission of this great presbytery. So, I asked the members of the Vision Team to share books they have read and would like others to read during Advent. Some books I’ve already read, and others I look forward to diving into.
Here are the book titles with authors:
- To Wake the Giant: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Jeff Shaara
- Doing Theology with Humility, Generosity, and Wonder: A Christian Theology of Pluralism by Damayanthi Niles
- The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
- Hondo: A Novel by Louis L’Amour
- Diary of a Pastor’s Soul: The Holy Moments in a Life of Ministry by M. Craig Barnes
- Mankiller: A Chief and Her People by Wilma Mankiller and Michael Wallis
- The Upswing: How American Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again by Robert D. Putnam, Shaylyn Romney Garrett
- Unchartered: How to Navigate the Future by Margaret Heffernan
- Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
- Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell
Reading expands us. By stretching out a bit further, perhaps we can discover ways to touch one another with kindness and care as we seek to be Christ’s body of diverse people.
Rev. Craig M. Howard