Light Upon Light
Compiled by Sarah Arthur: A Book Review
The problem with reviewing a book like Light Upon Light is that Sarah Arthur has done such a fine job explaining her purpose in the introduction that anything I say feels superfluous. As a guide to prayer during the season of Advent, she has compiled a rich assortment of poetry and prose from long ago and far away as well as from down the road and practically yesterday.
“Finding the works for this collection, discovering some of these authors and poets, has been like lighting one candle after another. Flame upon flame, light upon light, until the hallowed sanctuary of our quiet devotion becomes something of a shrine.”
And that’s exactly how it feels to read it and savor it, day by day, through the dark of December.
The readings are arranged into eighteen sections for four weeks of Advent, one for Christmas Eve, one for Christmas Day, two for the following Sundays, one for Epiphany and nine for the following weeks of Epiphany. Flexibility is the name of the game, so this is not another holiday straight-jacket, but, instead, a warm, comforting sweater. Each reading has a suggested prayer, a psalm and suggested Scriptures, an assortment of readings to add flame upon flame, and then a suggested closing prayer. The index of contributors is a valuable resource for further reading of favorite authors, or for answering the burning question, “Who wrote these gorgeous words?”
Partake of Light Upon Light like a delectable Christmas treat. Let the words waft over you like the aroma of Christmas tea and hot cider. Slow down your Christmas and find the Holy that has been right there all along.