Good News of Great Joy by John Piper

John Piper examines why the new is really and eternally good, in the attractive volume of short advent readings.

Good News of Great Joy: 25 Devotional Readings for Advent by John Piper. Crossway, 2021, 137 pages

Reading Level: Teen, ages 12-15

Recommended for: ages 16-up

“What do you want for Christmas?” As the grandmother of four kids who live far away, I usually have to ask this question at least twice before I get an answer. But what does Jesus want? John Piper introduces this little devotional with that simple question, and immediately provides the answer: “. . . to see my glory that you [Father] have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” That is the very end of Jesus’s longest recorded prayer (John 17), and it expresses his deepest desire. To be clear, Jesus doesn’t need anything, and is fully satisfied in the fellowship of his Father and Holy Spirit. But he does desire to show us his glory and enjoy our fellowship forever—a thought almost too incredible to grasp, yet it’s what Advent is all about.

Rather than a family-centered devotional, with scripture passage, reflection, written prayer, and a hymn, this brief book offers 25 readings accompanied by a short verse. Chapter headings like “For God’s Little People” and “No Detour from Cavalry” pique our interest. None of the readings are more than four pages long, but all encourage the reader to look to Christ and his glory. (A brief appendix cites six “shadows” of Christ in the Old Testament, as revealed in the book of Hebrews.)

The physical volume, clothbound and compact, with ribbon marker and warm, antique-gold endpapers and inserts, invites the reader to a quiet place of adoration and reflection. For a seasoned Christian, there may not be anything startling or new, but the focus on God’s desire for us, as much as ours for him, is worth pondering. After this year, you’ll either want to pass it on to a dear friend or save it to read again a few years hence.

Overall Rating: 4.75 (out of 5)

  • Worldview/moral value: 5
  • Artistic/literary value: 4.5

Read more about our ratings here.                 

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Janie Cheaney

Janie is the VERY senior staff writer for Redeemed Reader, as well as a long-time contributor to WORLD Magazine and an author of nine books for children. The rest of the time she's long-distance smooching on her four grandchildren (not an easy task). She lives with her equally senior husband of almost-fifty years in the Ozarks of Missouri.

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