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Christmas: The Season of Life and Light

Emily Hunter McGowin

Emily Hunter McGowin

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Of all the seasons of the church calendar, Christmas is the one most recognized and celebrated by our society at large. That means it’s the season we’re most familiar with—but that can also make it harder to see past Christmas’s many cultural trappings to its timeless beauty.

At the first Christmas, God exchanged the glories of divinity for the vulnerability of human existence, uniting himself to us in order to unite us to God. In this short volume, priest and theologian Emily Hunter McGowin invites us into the church’s celebration of that great exchange, in all its theological and liturgical splendor.

What People are Saying

“Those of us who are tired or cynical at Christmastime need this book by Emily McGowin, who gives Christmas back to us without stinginess or sentimentality, inviting us to wonder at the Word made flesh. McGowin brings the wisdom of the theological adept, the pastoral heart of the priest, and the tenderness of the disciple to help us understand what it means to worship a newborn king.”

Beth Felker Jones

professor of theology at Northern Seminary and author of Practicing Christian Doctrine

“I’ve wanted to make Christmas more spiritual without nagging about nonreligious symbols or being an impolite guest while partygoers sip champagne to the melody of ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.’ Thank you, Emily, for showing the way! Christmas: The Season of Life and Light both reveals the history and mystery of the birth of Jesus and shows us how to celebrate it in truly spiritual ways.”

Todd Hunter

founding bishop of the diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others and author of What Jesus Intended: Finding True Faith in the Rubble of Bad Religion

“Theologically rich, historically anchored, liturgically alert, socially alert, wide ranging, culturally connected, and all this always with an eye on the church—such expressions reveal the value of this small, timely, and wonderful book about Christmas. Buy it during Advent, wrap it up under the tree, and give your friends or family a gift that will stimulate their faith during Christmastide. The gift of Christmas will be made more generous by the gift of this book.”

Scot McKnight

professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary and author of The Jesus Creed

“This book is a gift. As Christians, we have all experienced the challenge of navigating culture while living a liturgical life during the Christmas season. Emily McGowin’s volume on Christmas for the Fullness of Time series offers a faithful way through by distilling some of the most important biblical and theological insights of what is revealed to us about God from Advent to Christmas. In this beautifully written book, McGowin offers a discerning and insightful guide for deepening Christian faith and practice during the season of Christmas.”

Jennifer Powell McNutt

Franklin S. Dyrness Associate Professor in Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton College

Emily Hunter McGowin

About Emily Hunter McGowin

Emily Hunter McGowin (PhD, University of Dayton) is associate professor of theology at Wheaton College. She is also a priest and canon theologian in the Anglican diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others.

Book Details

Casebound, 152 pages
Published: September 12, 2023 by InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 978-1-5140-0040-3

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