Beginnings and Endings (and what happens in between)

Daily Bible readings from Advent to Epiphany

Maggi Dawn

Currently out of print £7.99


Our everyday lives are full of small-scale beginnings and endings-births, death, marriages, careers, house moves and so on. How do the grand-scale beginnings and endings of Advent help to guide us as we seek to follow Jesus in the 21st century?

This book of daily readings reflects on the stories of six groups of people and individual characters from the Bible. Each provides a focus on the idea of beginnings and endings, and each gives us a glimpse into the human experience in between.

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Author info

Maggi Dawn is an author and theologian, currently based at Yale University, where she is Dean of Marquand Chapel and Associate Professor of Theology and Literature in the Divinity School. She is the author of Beginnings and Endings (BRF, 2007) and Giving it Up (BRF, 2010). She writes a blog at:


Reviewed in: The Methodist Recorder - 29 November 2007

i>Beginnings and Endings (and what happens in between) is dated from 1 December to 6 January 2008, and follows the relevant lectionary readings. An Anglican chaplain at Cambridge University's Robinson College, the author writes engagingly of 'times of beginning that are born out of the ending of something else', using her own experiences alongside readings from Genesis, 1 Kings, Isaiah and the Gospels.

Reviewed by Andy Goodliff

Maggi Dawn is an Anglican Priest, theologian, university chaplain, singer, author, speaker and blogger. This book is a collection of bible readings and reflections for the season of advent. As Christmas seems to begin earlier and earlier each year, the season of Advent gets squeezed and this book reminds us that there are four weeks before Christmas begins. The style of the book reminds me of Tom Wright's For Everyone series as it communicates and reveals new depths to these well-known stories.

The book is divided into six sections. Section one is all about beginnings and especially how the gospel writers begin their story. Section two and three take us back into Old Testament and Abraham, Elijah and Isaiah. Section four looks at angel-incidents in the Bible and explores how God speaks to us. Section five draws us into the story of Mary and Joseph and section six is headed endings and we engage with shepherds and kings.

Some of my favourite of the reflections - 'Coming, ready or not' and 'No room at the inn?' - first appeared on Maggi's blog over the last few years. In 'Coming, ready or not', we find a baby will come whether everything is in place or not and so Maggi says 'it is with God. He will be born in our world whether we're ready or not, deserving or not, prepared or not. The incarnation of God will defy our plans, upset the organized and come with ease and joy to undeserving sinners and the poor in spirit. (p.105). 'No room at the inn?' explores the Greek word kataluma, which is often translated as 'inn'. Maggi shows us the word is actually more likely to mean 'a large family living room used for eating and receiving guests' (p.115), which puts a different emphasis on how we read the story.

Let me encourage you to get a copy of this book to go with your Advent calendar. In and amongst the busyness of those December days, these daily Bible readings will enable you to prepare for the coming of God once again.

Book details

  • ISBN: 9781841015668
  • Published: 21 September 2007
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
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