New for this Christmas season, Paraclete Press has issued a “Reader’s Edition" of a modern Christmas classic: GOD WITH US: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas, edited by Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe. Last year, the first hardcover illustrated edition of this book was a #1 bestseller on Amazon for a couple weeks and sold more than 25,000 copies. This year, Paraclete has re-designed the book as a softcover to make it more affordable and accessible to readers.
The book includes 5 groups of readings, covering the time before and after Christmas. Eugene Peterson wrote the introduction, followed by the late Richard John Neuhaus, Scott Cairns, and Luci Shaw who wrote the readings for weeks one, two, and three, respectively. Kathleen Norris wrote the readings for the week before Christmas, and Emilie Griffin wrote about the days between Christmas and Epiphany. Interspersed with the readings are brief histories about the church season and feast days written by my friend Beth Bevis.
Earlier this year, I featured Emilie Griffin on this blog when she generously wrote an endorsement for my book Finding Livelihood. I’m thrilled to have her back on the blog, this time for an interview about GOD WITH US and her contribution to it as well as her insights on Christmas and the anticipatory time of Advent leading up to it. Emilie is the author of Small Surrenders: A Lenten Journey; The Reflective Executive: A Spirituality of Business and Enterprise; Clinging: The Experience of Prayer; Wilderness Time: A Guide for Spiritual Retreat; and Souls in Full Sail: A Christian Spirituality for the Later Years.
Is Christmas just for the children? Just for the liturgical churches? I don't think so. God is with all of us, all the time. But God wants us to come closer, to know him better, to know each other better as well. I'm glad if this book can have some small part in that conversation.