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Why This Jubilee?

Why This Jubilee?

Advent Reflections on Songs of the Season  

by James C. Howell
Advent Clergy & Laity

Music is such an important part of Advent and Christmas. Can you imagine Advent without "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"? How about Christmas without carols like "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "Silent Night," and "Joy to the World"?

It pleases the Lord Jesus when we sing of his coming with carols we know by heart. It pleases him even more when we think about the words we are singing.

In 24 reflections on well-known carols and Christmas songs, James Howell explores the birth of Jesus. He ponders the meaning of certain phrases from these songs and relates them to our daily lives.

The four weeks of devotions are arranged by topic:

  • The Place
  • The Men (Joseph, shepherds, magi)
  • The Mother
  • The Child

A guide for weekly discussion is included.

Join Howell in this rich remembrance for the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-8358-1495-9
Publisher: The Upper Room
Imprint: Upper Room Books
Publication Date: 07/01/2015
Pages: 136
Dimensions: 7.0000 x 5.0000 x 0.2910

James C. Howell is senior pastor, Myers Park United Methodist Church, Charlotte, NC. He is the author of 20 books. Howell holds a PhD and DMin from Duke Divinity School and a BA from the University of South Carolina. He enjoys reading, biking, and hiking in his spare time. He and his wife, Lisa, a photographer and community activist, have three grown children.


Music has the power to immediately evoke a time, a place, and a memory even beyond the text's meaning. Certainly this is true of Christmas carols. Howell takes us on a delightful journey into the heart, history, and meaning of these songs in a way that deepens our experience of them in unexpected and unforgettable ways. We fall in love with them, and with the mystery of this season, all over again.
—Dr. Marcia McFee
Creator and Visionary, Worship Design Studio

James Howell took me to the most familiar Advent/Christmas hymns and songs— ones I have sung for years—and made me pay attention in a whole new way. "The cattle are lowing" is a new image in my mind after reading how St. Francis created the first manger scene. I want to sing with the angels, worship with the shepherds, bow before my Lord Jesus, and follow him this Advent in a deeper way. Read this book. Your imagination will be stirred, your heart moved, your feet led in new ways!
—Leighton Ford
Presbyterian minister, author, mentor, and president, Leighton Ford Ministries

There is something alluring, even magical, when through music "God imparts to human hearts" the joy of Christmas, of Christ. James Howell is a wonderfully gifted writer and a talented musician as well. I can think of no one better to write a book like this for us all to help us ponder more "the hopes and fears of all the years." Highly recommended.
—Dr. Ben Witherington III
Amos Professor of NT for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary

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