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Posted November 23, 2014
Joy to the World. That's an apt title, because Dr. Hahn makes the case that joy is at the core of Christmas.
This is my second book by Scott Hahn. I appreciate his writing because he connects the historical facts of what it meant to "them" back then with the timeless truth of what it means for us right now.
He takes his scholarly knowledge and pores over Scripture, then puts it all together amid conversational narration.
Dr. Hahn comes to the conclusion of Christmas joy after closely examining the Gospel accounts of the Nativity, adding relevant details and broad context.
And after reading through these fourteen chapters I think you'll be eager to receive that joy.
He begins by reminding us that the Nativity was an intimate scene, protected within a tender trinity of family. At the same time, it was a conquest more decisive than any army could bring about.
Dr. Hahn takes us through all the highlights of the story, encouraging us to slow down and look deeply.
We ponder the Town of Bethlehem, the City of David and the "House of Bread." The Son of David and the Bread of Life was born here. He tells us about several theories that make sense of the census, including one suggesting that is wasn't a tax census but a public oath of allegiance to Ceasar.
We talk about the chorus of angels, heavenly messengers with proclamations of goodness. Dr. Hahn suggests that we can learn from the Holy Family that God's angels are watching over us too.
He says it like this: "We live with the angels as friends." I really like that image.
He tells us about the Magi, those foreign stargazers, mysterious men who worshipped the infant Jesus. He quotes Origen: "Gold as to a king; myrhh as to one who was mortal; and incense as to a God."
We look at the midnight flight to Egypt, land of idolatry and place of shelter. We compare the life of Moses and Jesus, and we see that Jesus is the one who delivers his people from all bondage.
Joy to the World ends with an invitation.
Dr. Hahn writes: "We evangelize when we have ourselves a merry little Christmas and invite others to share it. That's the best way to evangelize friends, family, coworkers, and everybody else. Why? Because the world offers countless pleasures but no lasting joys. What Jesus Christ gives is joy, even in the midst of hardship and sorrow- even amid persecution, flight, and exile."
So prepare your home and heart for Christmas. Cram every corner with celebration. Whether the trappings are humble or extravagant, the joy is lavish and real.
Thank you Image Books through Blogging for Books for providing me with a review copy.
The above is my opinion. :-)
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Posted December 5, 2014
A good combination of academic scholarship and faith. I recommend Dr. Hahn's books to Catholic and non-Catholic readers alike.
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Posted January 23, 2015
This was a wonderful read especially around Christmas time. When I read Hahn's books, I read one chapter and then meditate on it. There is so much to learn and get out of what he has researched. He is exceptional.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 16, 2015
I enjoyed reading this book of the birth of Jesus. The description of each member of the Holy Family was excellent. I have a better understanding of the character of each. It highlights the importance of the family unit and my hope that I could convey this to each member of my family.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.