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Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings

Christmas Letters from Those Who Were There  

by Ruth L. Boling
Paperback
Advent Devotional

Available September 2024; Preorder Now!

Imagine opening your mailbox to find a bundle of Christmas letters addressed to you from long-ago Bible characters who were there for the birth of Jesus. Mary. Joseph. The innkeeper. A shepherd. The midwife. King Herod. The Magi. How do each of these writers remember the unfolding story? What did they know? When did they know it? How did it change them?

In Season's Greetings, twelve vividly imagined letters from "those who were there" speak to the many meanings of Christmas. Awe. Wonder. Disruption. Scandal. Hope. Collected together, the letters invite you—the reader—to add your voice to the conversation, to put Christmas into your own words.

Scripture texts, companion prayers, reflection questions and journaling prompts accompanying each letter lend themselves to individual or group study.

Whether you love Christmas or dread it, whether you are a believer or a skeptic, the letters in Season's Greetings will speak to you. This Advent devotional delivers straight talk with honesty, intellectual rigor and a touch of humor, allowing you to hear with new ears the old, old story that changed—and is changing—the world.

Season's Greetings also includes an Afterword for Clergy and Church Leaders offering creative ideas for using the book in various ministry contexts, as well as a Small Group Leader's Guide.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-8358-2044-8
Publisher: The Upper Room
Imprint: Upper Room Books
Publication Date: 09/01/2024
Pages: 144
Dimensions: 8.5000 x 5.5000

Ruth L. Boling is a writer and Presbyterian minister who has served churches Ohio, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey for more than three decades. She is the co-author of the bestselling A Children's Guide to Worship and author of Come Worship With Me: A Journey through the Church Year. Season’s Greetings began as a labor of love for her congregation in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and grew into a book during her Doctor of Ministry program in Creative Writing and Public Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.


Reviews

“Be prepared in this book meet the people of the biblical Christmas story in ways you have never encountered them before. Through the literary gifts of Ruth Boling, one of our most imaginative and faithful writers, Zechariah, Joseph, Mary, the Bethlehem Innkeeper, and others step forward from the pages of scripture and speak directly to our lives, our minds, and our hearts. This volume will allow the hope of Christmas to shine even brighter.”
—Thomas G. Long, Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology

“Take a look at your nativity scene and imagine all the characters coming alive and speaking to you. Ruth Boling creatively invites you into Christmas in a new way with letters from those present at Jesus birth written to readers today. If you are looking for a contemplative way to engage the familiar in refreshing new ways, this book is for you.”
—Rev . Dr. Elizabeth Caldwell (she/hers), Professor Emerita of Pastoral Theology, McCormick Theological Seminary

"It’s been a very long time since I have read a book that has so moved me with the full wonder and beauty, challenge and mystery of Christmas. These imagined letters take us deep into the heart of Scripture but ever deeper into the heart of God's love. This book will open your eyes. It will change you. Boling imagines Mary inviting us to 'give Christmas your full consent. Allow the God who came at Christmas to come to you, delight you, and meddle with your life.' I can’t think of a better way to do that than to spend time with this lovely book."
—L. Roger Owens, Hugh Thomson Kerr Professor of Pastoral Theology, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and author of Everyday Contemplative: The Way of Prayerful Living

"Ruth Boling brings together critical biblical interpretation and creative writing to create a lens through which to see the story of Christmas in a new light. Each chapter features a letter from a biblical character, followed by thoughtful questions, journal prompts, and prayers that help us to reflect more deeply on the meaning of Christmas. This book is intelligent and imaginative, inspired and invitational, insightful and incarnational. What a gift to help us prepare our hearts for the advent of Immanuel."
—Donna Giver-Johnston, Professor and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary


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