A Radiant Birth: Advent Readings for a Bright Season, Edited by Leslie Leyland Fields and Paul J. Willis
A Radiant Birth
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Number of Studies: 42
  • Published: September 05, 2023
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: A0833
  • ISBN: 9781514008331

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"In Advent we prepare for the coming of all Love." —Madeleine L'Engle

"At the birth of Jesus, an event of cosmic significance by which we humans still mark our calendars, the invisible and visible worlds come together." —Philip Yancey

"Help us to realize, as those who love and believe in you that we, too, are pregnant with Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that day by day we are being enlarged." —Luci Shaw

The first Christmas sermon preserved in church history was preached by St. John Chrysostom in AD 386, in which he declared, "Behold a new and wonderful mystery!" In this volume, the Christian literary writers of the Chrysostom Society reflect on Advent and Christmastide as a bright and meaningful season of anticipation and glory. Through forty-two readings from the first Sunday of Advent through Epiphany, contributors prepare us in watchful waiting for the coming of Jesus. We enter slowly so that the familiar can astonish us and become wondrous once again.

Jesus is born in Bethlehem. But not only there. He is also born in us, that we might bear his presence and impart his goodness to the world.

"A Radiant Birth is a true gift. Poetry and prose flow mingled down into the heart and soul. Lovingly assembled by two wise and care-filled writers, it warmly welcomes readers into the mystery and wonder of Advent. This is a book that you will cherish and read year after year."

J. Brent Bill, author of Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality and Amity: Stories from the Heartland

"Every legendary voice in this remarkable collection dares take us closer to the brilliant star, the bleat of sheep, the crackle of straw, and even the blood of birthing to behold with anticipation and awe the remarkable arrival of the saving Jesus. In poems and memories told with astounding personal candor, the Chrysostom Society's communal exploration of the most holy of births is a brave, amazing gift."

Patricia Raybon, author of the Annalee Spain Mystery series and I Told the Mountain to Move

"Who better to lead us to the mystery of Word become flesh than writers? Who better to help us sing songs of yearning and joy than poets? This wonderful collection from some of my favorite writers and poets is a space for the imagination to contemplate the incomprehensible gift of the incarnation during the journey through Advent and Christmastide."

James K. A. Smith, editor in chief of Image journal

Read an Excerpt


Foreword by Richard Foster
Introduction by Leslie Leyland Fields

Part One: Jesus, Born in Bethlehem
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent

Part Two: Jesus, Born in Us
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent

Part Three: Jesus in Us for the World
First Week of Christmas
Second Week of Christmas



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Leslie Leyland Fields

Leslie Leyland Fields is the award-winning author of twelve books, the founder of Your Story Matters Ministry, and an international teacher and speaker on matters of faith and culture. When not traveling, she lives on two islands in Alaska, where she has worked in commercial fishing with her family and where she leads the Harvester Island Writers' Workshop.

Paul J. Willis

Paul J. Willis, now retired, served for many years as professor of English at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He has published seven collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Somewhere to Follow. He is also the author of an eco-fantasy novel The Alpine Tales, the young-adult novel All in a Garden Green, and the essay collections Bright Shoots of Everlastingness and To Build a Trail. He serves as president of the Chrysostom Society.