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

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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.

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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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Enuma's writing and work has been featured in:

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 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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5 of 5 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: Paperback
The Advent comes from the Latin word 'Adventus,' which means 'coming,' or 'arriving.' It is a month-long expectation of the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ, the new born King. For many Christians, it is also the mark of a new liturgical year. Thus, technically, we can call the first Sunday of December as the New Year's Day for Christians.

Here in this book, the biblical characters of Zechariah and Elizabeth are revisited in the first two weeks. This is followed by Elizabeth, Mary, and John in Week 3, ending with a summary of community involvement in Week 4.

What this book aims to accomplish is to help readers appreciate the way God has surprised the unexpected, silenced the faithless, and slowly but gradually turn despair to hope, barrenness to conception, doubt to trust, longing to belonging. Arranged in daily readings, each day comprises a short title to hold one's thought, followed by a Bible passage. A short reflection is then read, followed by a call to prayer. At the end of each Advent week, there is a "Personal Reflection" to help readers pause and examine themselves about their own spiritual longings and positions. This seventh day contains more scripture passages and a "prayerful challenge" for readers to actively engage themselves with. There are also guides for small groups, as well as other Advent readings for congregational activities.

Easy to use and pleasant to read, this book of Advent readings can be readily picked up and used by leaders in any Advent setting. This is a good book for the season.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.

This book is provided to me free by Upper Room Books and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
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