Journeying with Hope into a New Year

Journeying with Hope into a New Year

Reflections for Advent and Christmas

Paul R. Dekar


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Journeying with Hope into a New Year: Reflections for Advent and Christmas originated in 1982 when our family lived at Tantur, an ecumenical institute between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. My wife Nancy and I sent family and friends a letter highlighting our experience of Christmastide in the Holy Land. Inspired by writing this message from afar, we continue each year to write a letter with family news, a moving quote from a hymn or literary work, and spiritual reflections. These provide the basis for thirty-one meditations to be read daily through the month of December. Each includes a biblical text, a brief meditation, and a prayer. These may enable readers to experience more than the commercialism of the season and be led to magnify Jesus, the One who is at the heart of why we celebrate Christmas or write New Years' Resolutions. A line in The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery summarizes a crucial idea informing this collection: "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."


Paul R. Dekar:
Paul R. Dekar, Professor Emeritus at Memphis Theological Seminary, volunteers with Dundas Community Services, Canadian Friends Service Committee, Canadian Interfaith Reference Group, and wrote Thomas Merton: God’s Messenger on the Road towards a New World (2021); Dangerous People: The Fellowship of Reconciliation Building a Nonviolent World of Justice, Peace, and Freedom (2016); “In an Inescapable Network of Mutuality”: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Globalization of an Ethical Ideal (with Lewis V. Baldwin, 2013). Paul and Nancy have two sons and four grandkids.