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Thursday, November 30, 2017

"Celebrating Abundance" (Walter Brueggemann)

TITLE: Celebrating Abundance
AUTHOR: Walter Brueggemann
PUBLISHER: Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2017, (90 pages).

The Advent season is here. After the traditional Thanksgiving Thursday followed by a crazy Black Friday commercialization, we enter into a cultural period of shopping madness. People hype up virtues of celebrating, giving, gratitude, and festive pleasantries. Christians sing carols and Christmas hymns. Radio stations play Christmas tunes. Film-makers churn out predictable Christmas plots that center around family, friendship, and all kinds of chicken soup for the Christmas movie soul. What about the reasons for giving? What about the heart of the meaning of Christmas? What about the Person behind it all? In a compelling four-week devotional before Christmas and a list of prayers for twelve days after Christmas, renowned author and retired professor Dr Walter Brueggemann looks at the topic of abundance. It is about the abundance of God who poured out His Spirit on us. God will not only resolve the problems we have of today. He promises to give a new heaven and a new earth. Jesus demonstrated His bountiful blessings via the feeding of the 5000; multiple works of mercy and goodness; a catalog of newness; a continued offer of mercy for our repentance; the far reaching grace and faithfulness of God; culminating in the greatest gift of all: Jesus.

Beginning on the first Sunday of each Advent week, readers are given a Bible passage and a brief devotional on the passage followed by a purposeful exposition of God's Holy Character. He points us to ways in which we can renew our focus from earthly concerns to heavenly matters. All in all, it is about celebrating the abundance of God's love for us and for the world. We need this. People fight and quarrel over the limited things on earth. From Black Friday push and shove to the busyness surrounding the year end festivities, it is easy to be caught in our limitations and become myopic over temporal things. Christians are called not only to be patient and hopeful, they are called to celebrate the abundance that God had already given in Christ. This abundance comes forth through the Word. Trust in what the Word is saying. Meditate on the Truth of Scripture. Revel in the love of Christ. Discern what the Holy Spirit is teaching us. That Christmas is not just the reason for the season. Christ is the abundant love that we can receive and enjoy. We look forward to that eternal hope. That when we are focused on the living God, and the promises He has given us, we would not be so caught up with everything the world is chasing after. Remember Matthew 6:33? Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Imagine that. After receiving the abundance, all other things will be a plus! That's abundance!

Read this book and see the abundance of God in a unique way.

Walter Brueggemann is renowned Old Testament professor who had held position at Eden Theological Seminary and Columbia Theological Seminary. He is also a popular author of many books.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book has been provided courtesy of Westminster John Knox Press and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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