Someone told me once that C.S.Lewis said if you can't explain the deepest theological concept
or term simply enough so a child can understand it, you don't really understand it yourself. Kate
Moorehead's Advent devotional I Witness: Living Inside the Stories of Advent and Christimas
would please Lewis.
Rather than using the deep theological concepts and terms of Advent and
Incarnation, Christology and Theotokos, Moorehead steps inside the stories of the people of
Advent and the Incarnation, imagining their intimate thoughts and feelings as they participate in
The Great Story of the Nativity of Christ!
A born story teller and lover of stories, Moorehead describes getting lost inside stories as a child.
Her stories are simple, clear and deeply moving. Thus she tells the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth and the pain and struggle of their barrenness, ending each daily meditation with a thought and question encouraging the reader to ﬁnd his or her own story in the story of barrenness and prayer.
And then there is the story of John, and what it must have been like to be
There's Mary, the God Bearer, often worshiped, but in Moorehead's daily meditations, a very young woman ﬁlled with many emotions including being troubled and confused. "Mary was complicated. How does that make you feel?" Moorehead asks at the end of one devotion.
And so the daily devotions continue, with Joseph and his shame, the angels, the shepherds, giving birth in a cave and the wise men.
Finally, the devotional marks the 12 Days of Christmas with excerpts from scripture about the days after the birth of such a great and wondrous Event…the birth, the baby, the crying, the violence, and finally the flight to Egypt.
In conclusion, Moorehead confesses that she loves to read the same story over and over, because “the more familiar the story, the deeper I can move into the plot, the safer I feel to explore the details.” At the end she says, “Keep reading, keep listening, keep learning. The story of Christ’s birth can be both familiar and new in each re-telling. Come and see.”
Come and see indeed! This treasure of a book will set you on a holy path for Advent and Christmas, it will bring the stories to life in a new and different way, and I am certain, it will weave The Story with your own story in ways you never could imagine!
Director of the Center for Prayer and Spirituality, St. John’s Cathedral, Jacksonville, Florida
Book Reviewer for the Bishop’s Institute, Diocese of Florida