Published by Good Book Company on October 1, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Devotional, Theology
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Life is full of unexpected twists and turns and this has been particularly so in 2020.
But the most unexpected and significant event in the history of the world actually happened over 2000 years ago when God himself became one of us in the person of Jesus Christ.
These Advent reflections, written by David Mathis, help us to lift our eyes to wonder of the incarnation and worship the one who came to save us and make our futures certain.
Be amazed once more by the unexpected details of Jesus' unique birth and saving work with these short daily devotions and prayers, and renew your worship of our humble, generous, and loving Savior.
Written by David Mathis, author of Habits of Grace, executive editor for desiringGod.org and pastor at Cities Church in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
In The Christmas We Didn’t Expect, David Mathis shares twenty-four short devotions reflecting on the birth of Christ and what it means for us. Even though I read this book in October for the purposes of reviewing it, instead of spacing it out day by day over Advent season, I found it very meaningful and encouraging. Some devotions focus on the characters and events of the Nativity story alone, while others place this story within its larger Scriptural context, but all of the readings emphasize the miracle of the Incarnation, in which God came down in humility to meet with his people, bear their griefs and burdens, and save them from their sin. Each devotion ends with a brief reflective prayer, modeling how Christians can express their wonder and gratitude to God.
The Christmas We Didn’t Expect: Daily Devotions for Advent is a great resource for individuals, couples, families, and groups. People in church small groups may enjoy reading this in tandem and discussing their thoughts, and even though Mathis wrote this book at an adult reading level, it could also be a great option for family devotions. The book does not include any adult content or references that would restrict younger people from reading it, and because each devotion is only a few pages long, the readings do not require a fully developed attention span.
Then again, many adults struggle with their attention spans as well, and one of the best things about this book is how concise it is. Mathis takes mysterious, grand concepts that people have written entire scholarly works about, and breaks them down into short, expressive readings that build on each other in the weeks to Christmas. People who feel overwhelmed with their daily responsibilities and holiday preparations can use this book as an opportunity to slow down, contemplate Christ, and worship every day, in addition to preparing their hearts for Christmas.