Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Review: Advent in Narnia

Heidi Haverkamp has written a devotional for Advent that centers around beloved novel The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. In the first chapter, she writes, "...Advent is like Narnia in more ways than the weather. It's a magical time, set apart from ordinary time: we listen to special music; we decorate our homes, streets, and clothes; we eat particularly delightful and delicious foods. We experience a heightened sense of excitement and expectation. Those expectations are not only about the giving and receiving of gifts but also about Advent and Christmastime offering us a glimpse of a world that's kinder, more just, and more joyful than the one we usually experience."

This was a great Advent pick. Themed devotionals like this one can get bogged down in the minutiae of the book or it can make half-hearted connections between a theme and a book. In this case, there was so much to draw from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe that really connected with the Advent themes of waiting, trust, and joy. The questions for reflection at the end of each chapter will actually make you think about the things that might hold the place of Turkish delight in your life, what it means to "keep awake" to await the return of God (or Aslan), and what aspects of Advent make you curious and full of wonder like Lucy.

Advent in Narnia has been set up for both individual and group use. While it works wonderfully as a solo study, there are also suggestions for doing it with a group and finishing the study by watching the movie. Each chapter of the devotional matches up with chapters of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and passages of Scripture.

I would highly recommend Advent in Narnia to any reader looking for something special for the holiday season. It made me see Advent and Christmas through new eyes, while giving me the warm, safe feeling of being back home in the much-beloved Narnia. 

Advent in Narnia: Reflection for the Season
By Heidi Haverkamp
Westminster John Knox Press September 2015
96 pages
Read via Netgalley


  1. Not my kind of read, but I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it :)

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

    1. I like to read something a little focused around Advent, so it was great for me!

  2. Very interesting. The religious overtones in the Narnia series have been discussed ad nauseum over the years, but that doesn't mean that it is any less real. I really like the connections between the book and the Advent season. Not my thing, but I can appreciate the reflection.

    1. I was familiar with a lot of the overt connections, but I think this book took larger themes and made them applicable. Instead of beating Aslan as God into your head, it was more about thinking about what things serve as your "lamppost" or if your celebrations were more like the beavers or the party in the woods.