Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God-With-Us Then, Here, and Now by Scott Erickson
For those who are looking for something honest, something real, something with a little more human grit to it and a little less conventional red and green, Honest Advent offers a new kind of devotional.
For too many of us, Christmas has lost its wonder. Maybe for you, the joy of the season is painfully dissonant with the hard edges of life right now. Or maybe you feel wearied by the way Christmas has become a polished, predictable brand. Or maybe this sacred story feels too far removed from our world today, a world that's hard to make sense of.
But what if the Christmas story is not just something that happened a long time ago... but a story that is still happening today? Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God-with-Us Then, Here, and Now illuminates the astonishing, hope-filled truth that the God who showed up in the hardest parts of our humanity is still doing so today.
From celebrated artist-storyteller Scott Erickson come 25 days of heart-stirring images and thought-provoking meditations to rekindle the wonder of God-with-Us in this season. Honest Advent creates a space for you to encounter the Incarnate Christ in unexpected places: a pregnancy announcement in an era of political unrest and empirical bloodshed, the morning sickness of a Middle Eastern teenager, and the shocking biology of birth that goes far beyond the sanitized brand of Christmas as we know it.
Then, through powerful benedictions, prayers, and questions for honest reflection, you will discover how the wonder of God-with-Us is still happening today: in your unexpected change of plans, your unaccomplished dreams, your overcrowded lodging, your humble stories of new beginnings. In a world that's difficult to make sense of, and a season that's so often overtaken by consumerism, find here fresh eyes to see this powerfully sacred story.
Jesus appeared in a way no one expected: incarnating by way of human vulnerability. He does the exact same thing in our lives today: bringing light and life through our ordinary everyday vulnerabilities.
Hardcover: 224 pages
Dimensions: 5.4 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.9 ounces
ABOUT THE AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR
Scott Erickson is a touring painter, performance artist, and creative storyteller who mixes autobiography, biblical narrative, and aesthetics to create art that speaks to our deepest experiences. Scott lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and three children. For more information, visit www.scottericksonart.com.
"There is something so enticingly refreshing about the perspective and conversation of Advent through the feminine lens. Scott Erickson's reflection of the Advent season through the connection of the misrepresented women in the Savior story not only is healing and restorative but also brings us back into the story, where the feminine and the divine have always been."
— Arielle Estoria, poet, author, speaker
"Scott Erickson does a perfect job of removing the current taste of stale commercialization and male centeredness from Advent. He then brings back in the beauty, mystery, and wonder that this season is meant to inspire. If you want an Advent made for our moment of social and racial awakening, and one that doesn't oversimplify, this is it!"
— Propaganda and Dr. Alma Zaragoza-Petty, The Red Couch Podcast
"When I was an evangelical, I thought Christmas took too much emphasis away from Easter. When I was an atheist, I thought Christmas reinforced an absurd fairy tale. Me and Christmas, well, it's complicated. That's why I love Honest Advent. As a meditation on the vulnerability of God through the strange mystery of Christ's incarnation, Scott invites us not to master that mystery, but to experience it."
— Mike McHargue, author of You’re a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass) and host of Ask Science Mike podcast
"Beautiful. Evocative. A wake-up call to the mystery of life."
— John Mark Comer, author of The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
"I'm no Scrooge, but the last thing I want to read is another book on the Christmas story. Luckily, that's not what this book is about. Scott Erickson's beautifully crafted book helped me see God-with-Us with fresh eyes. Honest Advent is no shallow seasonal gift book; it's an invitation to explore the divine flourishes of everyday human vulnerabilities. A transformative read, regardless of the time of year."
— Jonathan Merritt, author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch and contributing writer to The Atlantic
"Through striking visuals and conversational prose, Scott Erickson has created a doorway between the foreign and the familiar, the simple and the complex, holiday and the everyday. On any day of the year, but especially through the time of Advent, land on any page in this book to find a prayer, a bridge, an invitation into what is coming and out of the boxes we put around God."
— Hillary McBride, PhD, RCC, therapist, researcher, and author
"Scott Erickson's iconographic works serve as portals to the 'kingdom of heaven within us.' In this collection of art and reflection, we're reminded what makes our hearts that heaven--the God who comes nearer than we are to ourselves. I'll be opening these doors with wonder and gratitude. Thanks, Scott, you're such a good doorman!"
— Brad Jersak, author of IN: Incarnation & Inclusion, Abba & Lamb
"We know of few other voices that so powerfully bring back the luster to tarnished, sacred things. Scott Erickson's Advent meditations will be an evergreen gift for the weary soul, calling out fresh and upending wonder at the incarnation, what it meant then, and how we are to be now."
— Jay and Katherine Wolf, authors of Hope Heals and Suffer Strong
"Readers on a quest for information can sometimes find themselves devouring books too quickly without taking time to chew, not fully tasting the words and their meanings. Scott Erickson's drawings force us to slow down and open up to truth in a new way. Advent is a season for slow contemplative reflection, and this book will be a tasty treat to savor and to help us reflect on the greatest wonder of all--God becoming one of us."
— Peri and Brian Zahnd, authors of Every Scene by Heart and Postcards from Babylon
"There are so many things I love about Scott Erickson, and this Advent book brings them all together. I sense that he is always doing his own work, learning how to live in the body and mind he's been given, making sense of the world through all of the means--psychology, sociology, art, science, spirituality, and wonder--so that when he turns his lens toward something, anything, out come these well-formed, beautifully connected scenes. This lens, turned toward Mary, Jesus, and incarnation, helps me break through the incredibly solidified narratives of Christmas into something that moves me again and helps me connect with the real earth, the blood, sweat, and tears--this happened here, on this earth, in our way, through human birth."
— Sara Groves, recording artist, advocate