This downloadable PDF includes the original artwork by Michelle Burkholder and blessings by Joanna Harader that appear in Expecting Emmanuel, © 2022 by Joanna Harader. The images and blessings included in this resource could be reproduced in worship bulletins, displayed during church services throughout Advent and Christmas, or photocopied to be passed out in a small group or retreat setting—for just a few examples.
Distributed by Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22803. All rights reserved.
Purchase of this resource grants the purchaser permission to display and make copies of the images and texts for use in personal and ministry settings.Original artwork by Michelle Burkholder
“Joanna Harader’s liturgies and prayers have formed my worship life for over a decade. I am delighted that her soothing, bold, and prophetic Advent reflections will be with me through the season of waiting. In prayers like poems and meditations that weave together the stories of women in the Bible with the lives of readers, Harader offers a gentle invitation: sit, wait, hold on, and don’t give up.”MELISSA FLORER-BIXLER, author of How to Have an Enemy and lead pastor of Raleigh Mennonite Church
“With an ear for the word of Scripture, an eye for connections, and a pen that sings, Rev. Harader has brought the stories of eight women into our Advent and Christmas season as a gift. She offers reflective prisms to see the unique hues of each woman’s story, and in those stories, she reveals the sometimes messiness of our humanity and what it means to have ‘God with us’ in the midst of the messiness.”DR. DAVID M. MAY, Landreneau Guillory Chair of Biblical Studies at Central Seminary
“If you long to drink from a well of unexpected richness and depth in this season of our Savior’s birth, Expecting Emmanuel is the devotional you’ve been waiting for. Alongside beautiful artwork from Michelle Burkholder, these readings and blessings provide a fresh lens through which to consider the embodied experiences of the women who anticipated the arrival of Jesus. Accept this invitation to journey into the complex, sometimes messy stories you think you know and discover anew the life-changing power of ‘God with us.’”STEPHEN MATTSON, author of On Love and Mercy: A Social Justice Devotional
“Lyrically written with pastoral sensitivity, Expecting Emmanuel offers a fresh reading of key texts featuring the women related to the story of Jesus. From ancient forebears and proximate characters, we learn again the theological richness of women’s participation in the redemptive work of God. Joanna Harader’s writing is theopoetics at its best—crafting images and insights that stir the heart.”REV. DR. MOLLY T. MARSHALL, president of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
“This book is a gift, filled with beautiful prose and powerful testimony, both of which are fitting in telling women’s stories. For far too long, the women in the story of Jesus’ birth have been ignored, other than a brief and often reluctant nod in Mary’s direction. Not only would this book make a good present to give at Christmas, but it is a gift to the church.”REV. DR. MIKE GRAVES, Wm. K. McElvaney Professor of Preaching and Worship emeritus at Saint Paul School of Theology and scholar in residence at Country Club Christian Church in Kansas City