[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1631464639″ locale=”US” src=”https://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/51xrh5sYWL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”222″]Let them Flow in Ceaseless Praise
A Brief Review of
Moments & Days:
How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith
Michelle Van Loon
Paperback: NavPress, 2016.
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Reviewed by Leslie Starasta
As individuals and families turn the calendar to December, thoughts turn to Christmas, and for some, Advent. Celebrations of Advent and Christmas may cause some to wonder about the remaining seasons of the Christian year. The celebration of Chanukah may cause thoughts of wonder about the Jewish year as well. For individuals who wish to learn more about the Jewish and Christian year, Michelle Van Loon, best known as a Her.meneutics blogger, recently published Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith.
Often readers turn right past the introduction to delve into the first chapter; however, when beginning Moments & Days the introduction is extremely important to understanding Van Loon’s perspective as an author. Before diving into a description of the two years, Van Loon explores the concepts of calendar and time in the first chapter. She writes “personal schedules are not the extent of our identity” and emphasizes that orienting our lives around God’s calendar reminds us that we are not the center of the universe (6).
After establishing the idea of living by God’s calendar, the remainder of the book is divided into two sections which focus on the Jewish year and the Christian year. Each section begins with a brief chapter introducing the particular year which are very informative concerning the origin and significance of the respective year as a whole. Each successive chapter focuses on a specific celebration or season. Van Loon does an admirable job explaining the celebrations and how observing them helps to understand Jesus as Savior.
Van Loon’s work is a wonderful resource emphasizing the “why” behind celebrating both the Jewish and Christian year, particularly for an audience unfamiliar with these celebrations. For individuals who desire to begin observing these celebrations, brief suggestions are included along with some recipes and a brief list of additional resources in the appendix. Michelle Van Loon provides a useful resource for families, small groups, or entire churches who desire incorporating these festivals and celebrations into their calendar.
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com