Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas. Edited by Nancy Guthrie. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008. 144 pp., $12.99, soft cover.
My wife and I enjoy doing our devotions together each night. We also love out loud reading before we go to bed! We also love the Advent season as a time to reflect on the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore, when Crossway released Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, we were both very excited. All too often Advent readings are vapid and lack theological depth and precision. Not so with this volume! Nancy Guthrie has collected a wonderful collection of readings from various individuals throughout church history and the modern church today.
The 22 readings are by the following authors: George Whitefield, Joseph “Skip” Ryan, Martin Luther, John Piper, Tim Keller, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, J. Ligon Duncan III, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Augustine, J. I. Packer, John Calvin, Alistair Begg, Randy Alcorn, John MacArthur, Raymond C. Ortland, Jr., Francis Schaeffer, J.C. Ryle, James Montgomery Boice, R. C. Sproul, R. Ken Hughes, and Joni Eareckson Tada.
They deal with various aspects of the nativity story from how the shepherds viewed the nativity, the lessons of the wise men, looking at the deity and the humanity of Christ, and various other theological aspects. These are all both theologically sound, biblically rooted, and practically applicable. There was not one lesson that we did not appreciate and were not challenged by. They often brought up further discussion and brought about ways for us to reflect on how to apply these areas to our own lives.
If I had any suggestions for the work, would be that it would include more from the early church. An inclusion from Augustine was welcome, but it would have been good to see entries from Athanasius and others from the pre-Reformation period. We have much to learn from the early church about the person and work of Christ and what better time to talk about them then at Advent? Other than that, the selections are excellent and challenging.
We need more devotional type material that is solidly biblical like this and theologically precise. We have much to learn from those who have gone before us and this collection provides an excellent resource on what many have taught about the person and work of Christ, especially in respect to the Advent season. I hope that many will use this resource with their families this next coming Advent season to challenge our hearts and minds to greater love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
This is available from Westminster Books for $8.44! Buy it here!