The Greatest Gift

 

 

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Have I mentioned I have an Advent book?

Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift. Unwrapping the full love story of Christmas.

I received it as a gift for my birthday in October and I have been saving it up ever since. Its a small hardback volume with a pretty snow driven photo cover and it’s by my favourite devotional writer, Ann Voskamp. If you have never read anything by dear Ann, check out her website which is currently full to the brim with Christmassy writing that she sends out from a scrubbed pine table in the kitchen of her old wooden farmhouse on the snowy Canadian plains, (or at least thats how I like to imagine it). In between homeschooling her six beautiful children, caring for the farmer and a barn full of pigs and travelling the world as an advocate for the poorest of the world’s women and children she writes simply the best stress busting, Jesus centred pieces that you will find anywhere on the web.

As you can tell I’m quite a fan!

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I took the book in the car with me when we drove over to the Christmas Markets in Manchester last Saturday and I was blown-away-breathless from the first page. I read one short paragraph and then closed the book tight, savoured it and wondered if I dared to go on. It’s almost too much loveliness for one solitary reader to bear. Such beautiful writing, bringing the salvation story alive with sparkling brilliance on a dreary Lancashire motorway ride. Here on the page, there would be enough in a single sentence to feed a hungry heart for a week.

I’ve included a short extract below. Does anyone tell it so well? She has captured a universal sized mystery and held it there in her hand, a gentle grasp, held just long enough to be examined, then released undamaged but remembered in words.

This quote is from the introductory chapter of the book.

“Big and glossy and loud and fast – that’s how this bent up world turns.

But God when he comes _ He shows up in this fetal ball.

He who carved the edges of the cosmos curved Himself into a fetal ball in the dark, tethered Himself to the uterine wall of a virgin, and lets His cells divide, light splitting all white.

He gave up the heavens that were not even large enough to contain Him and lets Himself be held in a hand.

The mystery so large becomes the Baby so small, and infinite becomes infant. 

The giver becomes the Gift, this quiet offering.

This heart beating in the chest cavity of a held child, a thrumming heart beating hope, beating change, beating love, beating the singular song you’ve been waiting for – that the whole dizzy planet’s been spinning round waiting for.”

Does anyone else write about the incarnation quite like this?

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