Companions on the Bethlehem Road
Daily readings and reflections for the Advent journey
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship)
This book of daily Bible readings and reflections for Advent and Christmas is based around spiritual insights gleaned from some of the best-loved poets of the past - TS Eliot, George Herbert, Tennyson and Auden, among others. While they come from different ages and backgrounds, they wrestled with the same questions that we do, about God, love, hope, and suffering. This book is not a literary study of their work, but a quest to see what they can tell us about life and faith today. Their poems are quoted in short sections, with suggestions about what they might mean for us now. There are so many aspects of God's love for us and ours for him that are hard to grasp. While we can glimpse only part of the picture, it often seems that, in poetry, our deepest yearnings can come to the surface. As we travel the road to Christmas in the company of these great poets, we will find our minds enlarged and our hearts touched with something of the wonder and joy of this special season. The Bible readings are drawn from the lectionary.
Church Times, November 2012 This paper's very own Rachel Boulding has produced Companions on the Bethlehem Road, which takes the reader from 1 December to 6 January (the eve of Advent Sunday to the Epiphany). Each day begins with a passage of scripture, taken from some part of the Church of England's Daily Lectionary, out of which comes a reflection, ending in a short prayer. Much unobtrusive use is made of poetry: indeed, I was surprised when I got to the index to see what a large number of authors I had read over the course of the book. There is material provided for groups, but I suspect that this book is more suited for individual use; busy clergy (and others used to the Daily Lectionary) might find this a useful supplement to feed their reading of scripture, during a time of year when reading anything at all can seem to be nigh on impossible. Peter McGreary
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