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The Whole Christmas Story An Advent adventure through Genesis, Revelation and points in between

Author: Jo Swinney



BRF’s Advent book for 2021 covers far more than the 120 gospel verses which take us from the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary to the escape to Egypt by Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus.

In daily readings, reflections and prayers, from Advent Sunday to Epiphany, Jo Swinney sets the familiar – sometimes over-familiar – Christmas story in the infinite context of God’s creation. As she writes in her introduction: ‘I want us to think about how Christmas sits in the whole Christian story, from Genesis to Revelation. I want to take us up a steep and winding path to a high vantage point, from where we can survey the horizon in all directions. Or, to use a specifically 21st-century metaphor, let’s play with Google Earth, starting in outer space and zooming in further and further until we are sitting, mesmerised and worshipful, by a makeshift cradle and the God-baby inside it.’

Praise for The Whole Christmas Story
‘Sweeping through history and spanning biblical narratives and passages that give us key insight into who God is and our place in God’s big story, this is more than a safe companion to Christmas. It is wonderfully moving and inescapably human and had me in tears within the first few pages… By placing the Christmas story in its wider context, Jo Swinney has done a brilliant job in casting new light on a very familiar story.’ Chine McDonald, writer, broadcaster and head of public engagement at Christian Aid

‘You’ve got an Advent treat in store! I was educated, encouraged, challenged and moved. Our journey to Bethlehem begins in Eden, not Nazareth, and ends in a garden city, not Egypt. Jo Swinney reminds us that the Christmas story is part of God’s bigger story, and it’s one into which we are invited to play our part. It’s a whole story for the whole of life. I can’t think of a better way to prepare for Christmas.’ Paul Woolley, chief executive, LICC

About the author
Jo Swinney is a UK-based author, speaker and editor, with an MA in theology from Regent College, Vancouver. She is Head of Communications for A Rocha International and blogs at