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Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent Paperback – September 29, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Upper Room (September 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835811123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835811125
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Enuma Okoro is a writer, speaker, and retreat leader. She graduated from Duke University Divinity School and served as director of the Center for Theological Writing there. She is the author of *Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Sesarch for Spiritual Community** and coauthor, with Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, of *Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.** Okoro's work has been featured on *Good Morning America**'s Spirituality page and in *The Christian Century.

More About the Author

Enuma Okoro is a Nigerian-American award-winning author and speaker. Born in the USA but raised in four countries on three continents, her interests intersect spirituality, transnational identity and cultural anthropology, women's studies, race relations, and the visual and literary arts. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School where she served as Director for the Center for Theological Writing.
Okoro's spiritual memoir, Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Search for Spiritual Community (Fresh Air Books, 2010) was a winning finalist in the 2010 USA Best Books Award and received the 2011 National Indie Excellent Book Awards Winning Finalist in "Spirituality and African-American Non-Fiction."
She is co-author with Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove of, Common Prayer: Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals,(Zondervan, 2010).
Okoro's poetry is featured in At the Still Point: A Literary Guide to Prayer in Ordinary Time compiled by Sarah Arthur (Paraclete Press, 2011)
Okoro's third book, Silence, was released in fall 2012. Her latest, Talking Taboo was just released in fall 2013.

Visit her website
www.enumaokoro.com

Enuma's writing and work has been featured in:

abc news Good Morning America online
The Washington Post
CNN
NPR
The Michael Eric Dyson Show
The Huffington Post
Christianity Today
Sojourners
Burnside Writer's Collective
Weavings: Journal of the Spiritual Life
and more.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Book Conspirator on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
If your anticipation of the holiday season is shot through with pockets of melancholy and longing; if you feel afraid to hope for good news; then Enuma Okoro is your guide into the sacred stories of Advent. Here is one of my favorite quotes among many wonderful passages worth savoring:

"We are invited to practice a unique kind of hospitality with one another, the sort that makes room for people to share the strange ways in which God is moving in their lives, the sort of hospitality that encourages people to put down wearisome baggage and trust God to fill their emptying hands and hearts, the sort of hospitality that nurtures space for holy listening and encourages people to believe that God is always in the business of making things new, bringing life into spaces that feel barren, and strengthening the weak to receive and offer the gifts of God."

Her themes are strong ones, which she draws from the biblical texts with unusual insight and the feel of hard-earned wisdom: Part One is "Surprised and Silenced by God"; Part Two is "Preparation and Laboring with God's Promises"; Part Three is "Trusting and Receiving God's Word." Her topics inject anti-consumerist leaven into the frenzy of cultural mania, and her familiarity with biblical characters will have them coming alive to you in fresh ways.

Quick, start a group and get this devotional to work through together. You might find yourselves making a surprising invitation to the Christ child to enter your lives in new ways.

Not since Walter Wangerin, Jr.'s Preparing for Jesus: Meditations on the Coming of Christ, Advent, Christmas and the Kingdom have I come across an advent devotional with this kind of depth and sensitivity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Van Loon on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have yet to meet anyone who likes to wait. I usually stink at it, to tell you the truth.

But within the rhythm of the Christian year, Advent is the block of time leading up to Christmas given over to waiting. The practice is as countercultural as it comes. December's secular Festivus frenzy, with its shoppingholidaypartiescookieexchangesconcertsdecoratingwrapping is an exhausting runup to December 25. Though some count down through their December with Santa-themed "Advent" calendars, a nod to the waiting for Christmas, this counting down has more to do with beating a deadline than it does with waiting.

The kind of Advent observed through church history is all about waiting. As a Jewish believer, I have wrestled more than you can imagine with the lopsided, invented rhythm of "The Christian Year" as I've compared it to the cycle of celebration God gave his children in Leviticus 23. That said, I value the practice of Advent. I need to be invited to be still, to feel the weight of the wait for my salvation, to renew hope, to contemplate the miracle and gift of God-becoming-baby.

My companion for this year's December wait will be Enuma Okoro's Silence and Other Surprising Invitiations of Advent (Upper Room, 2012)**. Okoro, a fellow contributor to Christianity Today's Her.meneutics blog, has created 28 days of brief, rich meditations readers can use to reorient themselves. Week one's meditations begin is a slightly non-traditional place - with John the Baptizer's father, Zechariah. Themes of doubt and lament fill the week's devotions. Week two moves readers to consider the lives of Zechariah and his aging, miraculously pregnant wife Elizabeth, as we ponder barrenness and our own hollow spaces.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was fortunate to hear Enuma do a reading from this book in Washington, D.C., during the Advent season. The depth to which I was touched by this work increased through her gentle sharing and the grace of her heartfelt reading. To take a step back, to allow another so affected by the coming of the Christ-child to speak, to be reminded that there is always a back-story to the "front story," provided me an opportunity to allow myself to once again question how the coming of the Christ-child has played into the events of my story......to realize that I, too, resonate with Elizabeth and Zechariah in the "waiting."

The format of the book, with both thought-provoking writing and prompts for reflection allows each reader to enter into the moment. It encourages each person to allow the meditations to flow through their life, and to see anew the implications of not only the story presented, but the interplay of such within life today.
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Great guide to the advent season. New ways to think about and study Mary as well as Elizabeth and the amount of faith they required.
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This book takes the reader to a deeper, quieter place. The theme throughout is about God's plan for us in community. (Waiting in community, support in the community, how prayer and answers to prayer involve not just us, but the community as a whole.)

The author's wisdom led me to a few "ah ha" moments and to many questions and imaginings of my own. I have had enthusiastic conversations with my husband, who is a minister, about the thoughts expressed by Ms. Okoro. I hope that she has another book for Lent.
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