Christians have to be patient in the dark days of approaching winter before they can celebrate at Christmas the birth of Jesus. Religion publishers offer a few new resources for the season of waiting:

Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent by Enuma Okoro (Upper Room, Sept.): Okoro, a young writer and retreat leader who collaborated with Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove on Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (Zondervan, 2010), uses the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah, the parents of John the Baptist, to consider the themes of waiting and the unexpected ways God can make and keep promises. The book includes prayers and prompts for personal reflection.

The Gospel of Christmas: Reflections for Advent by Patty Kirk (InterVarsity Press, Sept.): Kirk (Reflections of an Amateur Believer, Thomas Nelson, 2007) weaves insights about her own life and evolving faith with reflections on the songs and poetry of the season in a series of disparate but thematically connected chapters.

The Little Way of Advent: Meditations in the Spirit of St. Thérèse of Lisieux by Gary C. Caster (Franciscan Media/Servant, July): Caster, a Catholic priest and college chaplain (The Little Way of Lent, St. Anthony Messenger, 2010), uses the “Little Way” of St. Thérèse to link the theme of innocence to faithful waiting for Jesus.