Heaven and Nature Sing

Heaven and Nature Sing, and You’re Invited to Join the Party

Fleming Rutledge describes Advent as a “season that begins in darkness and ends in light.” Certainly for us in the Northern Hemisphere, the Light she writes about is “shed abroad in our hearts,” but both ends of the day still make for challenging conditions if you crave sunlight for your power walk.

Late autumn temperatures in the northeast United States require a certain fortitude of speech to continue naming the cold autumn when, clearly, the chill in the air and the snow underfoot are speaking the language of winter. My giant sunflowers bowed their heads in October, the pumpkins moldered in the compost pile long before Thanksgiving, and the Advent calendar ticks away the days toward the winter solstice, but mostly, I understand winter’s arrival by its long daily darkness.

It all begins as the perfect excuse for window candles and quiet evenings at home, but daylight keeps slipping through our fingers until, mole-like, we emerge from our holes into morning darkness and wash dinner dishes before blackened windows. Nonetheless, the Lord of Creation is subject neither to solstice nor to circadian rhythms. God is just as present in the darkness as he is in the light, as David’s psalm delights to comfort us:

Even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

Psalm 139:12

The Lord of Creation is subject neither to solstice nor circadian rhythms. God is just as present in the darkness as he is in the light, “for even the darkness is light to him.” #Advent #LightoftheWorld

Heaven and Nature Sing

Push back against the darkness of this season by immersing your thoughts in the truth that Light has come into the world–and we celebrate redemption with all creation! Hannah Anderson has borrowed great news from an old carol that’s ever new, because Heaven and Nature Sing the greatness of our God, “the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Anderson comes alongside the reader as a friend, pointing at the evidence and whispering a gentle reminder of truth easily misplaced in a busy season.

These twenty-five meditations, designed to carry you through Advent, connect details of geography, topography, or nature from the Christmas story and lay them down beside spiritual truth with an eye fully attentive to the selective nature of redemptive history. Why did the Gospel writer include the lowly shepherds’ eye-witness account? “Supreme artist that he is, God is not about to miss an opportunity for symbolism. So when his Shepherd is finally born, he sends the news to… shepherds.”

Then, reaching beyond the traditional gospel accounts of Christ’s birth, Anderson has woven connections with relevant Old Testament passages and New Testament teaching that highlights the seamlessness of Scripture’s metanarrative. My favorite image from Heaven and Nature Sing makes the connection between Son of Adam and Son of God, for Jesus, the God-Man created us and also makes provision for us. “So instead of filling the manger with hay or corn, he fills it with himself.”

Worship is the invitation of this season, so prepare your heart to join in the celebration of God’s greatness by remembering the why behind Christ’s arrival and the blessed hope of his return.

This is not my first encounter with Hannah Anderson’s gorgeous prose and her lessons from nature, season, and spirit. Her previous book, Turning of Days, is still sitting on my nightstand. I reviewed it HERE. And if you’re in need of further inspiration for a Christ-centered Advent, I have shared a collection of eight books HERE.

Holding you in the Light,

Hannah Anderson has borrowed great news from an old carol that’s ever new. #HeavenandNatureSing comes alongside the reader as a friend, whispering a gentle reminder of truth easily misplaced in a busy season. @sometimesalight @BHpub

Take Action Now to Resist Chaos in Your Advent Celebration!

This is your invitation to join me and my newsletter subscribers in memorizing and meditating on Isaiah 9:6 during the Advent season. Obviously, all you really need in order to do this is a Bible and the willingness to put in the work. However, if you’re interested in some help and encouragement, I’ve created a PDF for you that includes printable resources:

  • The text of Isaiah 9:6 as pictured above
  • First letters of the verse to push you along in your memory work (Have you ever tried this method? It really helps me!) The first letter of each word triggers your brain to say the right word without actually giving you the word in print.
  • A Meditation Guide for each name of Jesus: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Each little card invites you to think about the Name in terms of who Jesus promises to be for you and what he wants to do in your life.

If this sounds helpful to you, get your copy by simply entering your email and then clicking on the button below…

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I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and an affiliate of The Joyful Life Magazine, two advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Many thanks to NetGalley and B&H Publishing Group for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

10 thoughts on “Heaven and Nature Sing, and You’re Invited to Join the Party”

  1. I just got this book a few weeks ago, all ready to begin tomorrow! I have another of Hannah’s books tucked into my Kindle app, but haven’t read it yet. I’m looking forward to delving into this one.


  2. Oh yes, it is getting harder and harder to call these days “fall!” I really miss the light when it’s so dark in the morning and in the late afternoon and it’s one of the main reasons why so many of our Christmas decorations light up. I like just that little touch of twinkling light everywhere I look.


    1. We had our first snow flurry today. It came on in seconds after bright sunlight streaming through the window! If nothing else, God uses the weather to keep us flexible!
      And a HUGE yes to those twinkling lights. Such a great encouragement!


  3. Praise God he is “subject neither to solstice nor to circadian rhythms; he is just as present in the darkness as he is in the light”–a wonderful thought to embrace in the chill of dark December mornings and evenings. I never noticed how Psalm 139:12 can encourage us to celebrate God’s Light as we endure these short days. Thank you, Michele! P.S. Your descriptions are always such a delight to read–refreshing for mind and spirit!


  4. Oh Michele, I so enjoyed this. YOUR prose is exquisite and I can SO relate to craving sunlight for my power walk…and emerging mole-like into morning darkness…And the ‘certain fortitude of speech’ required to name this present darkness and cold merely ‘autumn’ is just perfect! And I say AMEN to that, having had our second dump of snow and temps already requiring tundra parkas!! Thank you for sharing your life and reading. I have wondered about the shepherd symbolism in terms of the time of year when Jesus was born. I like to imagine it was lambing season in the hills around Bethlehem. I’ve never been able to verify whether this may indeed have been so but the imagery is perfect timing for the Lamb of God to be born…


    1. I need your even more northerly perspective to keep me in gratitude for Mid-Coast Maine and our comparatively mild winters–by Maine standards.
      That insight about the shepherds and our Shepherd was like a cymbal crash for me, and I also appreciate your ponderings about lambing season and the Lamb of God.
      I suppose we will be able to enjoy the depths of this wonderful story for all eternity.
      And, Linda, it’s so great to hear from you!


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