Upper Room Books
Despite some shortcomings, I really appreciated the way this little book (112 pages) was written with a format designed to help individuals or groups to slow down and create times and places of stillness during Advent.
Simply Wait – Cultivating Stillness in the Season of Advent is intended to be a workbook as well as a guide for leaders, with ample space for individual reflections and helpful guidance for leaders of small groups following the book or individuals working alone.
The language is simple and accessible.
Simply Wait journeys through each day of Advent Year A with each week taking a different theme word.
The first day of each week is designed to be after Sunday – to encourage participants to reflect on the lectionary readings and word throughout the week and not rush ahead to the following Sunday.
The first day focuses on the word (Anticipation, Hope, Patience or Obedience), the second to fifth days on the lectionary readings, the sixth on connecting the focus word to the world and the seventh on a contemplative prayer practice.
Each prayer practice is clearly explained and has been in use within the Christian Church for many years, although some might seem unfamiliar to those unused to such practices.
Unfortunately, Simply Wait has been written with the northern hemisphere in mind (even the cover is ‘snowy’), with many references to winter and use of wintery images for Advent. While I did find this a little off-putting, with some preparatory work, adaptations could be made to suit the Australian climate and the impact that has on our images of Advent.
So although I would be reluctant to use this as is, I think it would be a valuable resource for those seeking to journey more quietly through Advent.
Reviewed by Mel Perkins, a student at Trinity Theological College, Brisbane