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The Advent of Peace
A Gospel Journey to Christmas
by Mary C. Grey
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published:19 August 2010
This is a serious and challenging book which is primarily meant to be read during Advent but as the main theme of the book is ‘peace’ it has important things to say whatever the time of year. Each chapter makes reference to the gospel nativity stories and relates them to issues of contemporary culture and the author’s own experience and insights she has of places e.g. Bethlehem and situations in the Middle East.
The author is keen to focus practically on how peace and reconciliation, not just in war-torn lands, but in all relationships might develop by giving turning into forgiving thus testing the heart’s integrity and the willingness to inhabit the space of the other. This becomes especially highlighted when the author dwells on the conflict between Christian, Jew and Muslim.
This book needs to be read slowly as there is a wealth of information on each page – information which needs to become more than head knowledge as it is considered and embraced. As the author reminds us – it is only when, like the shepherd, we arrive at the crib that our journey begins.
Reviewer: Deborah Reynolds (29/10/10)