The secular and liturgical calendars nearly converge this year, so whether you mark the start of Advent with those calendars of chalky, cheap chocolate from your local supermarket, or through participation in Sunday worship, the season begins this weekend. During Advent I always look for a devotional to read through, as I attempt to wait well. Friends at Paraclete Press were nice enough to share with me Wounded in Spirit: Advent Art and Meditations, a new devotional by David Bannon. Bannon combines reflections on grief, hope, wounds and waiting with beautiful works of art. It is an exquisite book!
But Advent is the season of waiting. To wait is to note that things are not yet as they should be. And so, this is a difficult season for a lot of us. For all the promise of holiday cheer, these are long dark nights, often touched by heartache, loneliness, estrangement, deep wounds, and mourning. Bannon is no stranger to grief and heartache. In 2006 he was convicted for criminal impersonation. In 2015 his daughter died of a heroin overdose (introduction, XVI). He know what it means to be broken and bereaved, to long for wholeness, healing and the coming of God’s shalom. He doesn’t speak explicitly about his own story in these meditations. He focuses instead on the stories of the artists—their stories, wounds and the works they produced.
The art in this book is varied in style, though exclusively Western European,ranging from the Renaissance era to about mid 20th Century. There are works by celebrated artists like Gauguin, Tissot, Caravaggio, Tanner, Delacroix, Van Gogh and Dürer, as well as notable pieces from artists with less household name recognition. Bannon describes the artist’s life, and the ways their wounds bleed onto the canvas. He invites us to stop and pay attention, to really see the artist and their work, to experience healing and perchance commune. Each daily meditation includes quotations for reflection from notable artists, writers, philosophers or theologians.
Art is something that has been healing for me on my own spiritual journey so I am looking forward to sitting with these artists and their work. I have not read the whole book yet, just introduction and several entries, though Bannon appears to be a good guide.
Waiting is painful. Things are not yet as they should be. But waiting doesn’t have to be dull and dreary, it can be a sensory experience, a time of entering more fully into Life. A time to grieve, yes, but joy comes in the morning.
Paraclete Press, has graciously allowed me to run a giveaway on my blog of 3 copies of the book? Yeah, James, but how can I win?
There are 2 ways to enter:
- Comment below and tell me what do you find most difficult about this time of year.
- Share this giveaway on Social Media by hitting the share button below, Be sure to comment and share the link in the comment section, so I see your entry!
Winners will be chosen Thursday, 11/29 at 9pm Pacific Time.
20 thoughts on “Wounded In Spirit: an Advent Devotional (p)review and GIVEAWAY!!!”
The Winners are announced! You can read about it on my follow up post with an interview with the author, David Bannon: https://thoughtsprayersandsongs.com/2018/11/30/interview-with-david-bannon-author-of-wounded-in-spirit/
Thanks for commenting everybody! I’ve drawn names of the winners and will announce them tomorrow. Check your emails. It may be you!
Years ago, I lost my 17 year old sister to sudden death and the Christmas season has never been the same. As both a member of the club that nobody wants to belong to, as well as an art lover, I’m intrigued by news of this new book. I have a couple friends who are in the beginning stages of grief (the club) and I’m considering gifting this book to them.
That’sounds hard. Grace and comfort to you and your friends!
As a woman who was not able to have children, I feel acute grief during advent.
Blessings on you! Thank you for being so vulnerable. May you know God’s presence in the times and places your heart feels most tender.
Congratulations you won! Check your email, I just need a mailing address so that the publisher can get that out to you!
Advent is the season of waiting – awaiting the foretold Messiah of which John the Baptist proclaimed. As much as I love this time of year spiritually, the weather often sends me into seasonal depression. I cling to the promise that “weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Yeah. My wife gets really affected by the seasons too. I’m usually fairly even keel but the 3:30
grey got to me today.
My mother passed away in December a few years ago. I think of her each Christmas season.
It is so hard to lose someone close and the holidays have a way of highlighting their absence. May you sense God’s loving arms aroung you through Advent and Christmas!
I feel acute loneliness at this time of year.
Thanks for sharing Abby! I feel it too!
This time of year is so sad for so many people, including me… for so many reasons. Most people hide it from the world…like me. Maybe this book will bring closure and I can share it with the people I know can benefit from it.
Thanks sharing Roni! You are right! A hard time for a lot of us!
I miss my family that has passed that always made the holidays special. Shared this in Facebook page carla Brumbeloe
Thanks Carla! The holidays are especially hard when we feel the absence of those who made it special!
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Loneliness in the midst of all the light