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Divine Mysteries and the Christian Year: Poems for Reflection with Illustrations and Musical Settings

Divine Mysteries and the Christian Year: Poems for Reflection with Illustrations and Musical Settings

By S T Kimbrough, Jr.Publisher: Wipf and Stock PublishersISBN: 978-1-6667-7893-9Genre: PoetryPrice: Paperback $15.00; Kindle $9.99; Hardcover $28

This book includes brief explanations of the primary emphases of the Christian or liturgical year as observed in Christian churches in the East and West. Following brief descriptions of the primary periods of the Christian year, poems highlight the diverse theological emphases. They punctuate the scriptural background and theological ideas with appropriate prayers. Though there are differences between the liturgical calendars of Western and Eastern Christianity, many of the emphases are in concert with one another, though dates may vary. In some Protestant churches, the primary events in the life of Christ are celebrated without strict adherence to a liturgical calendar.
The poems included here emphasize how the celebration of the festivals of the Christian year address the divine mysteries that followers of Christ seek to understand through worship and study every year, and what it means to observe the Christian/liturgical year. To enhance the use of the volume by clergy and worship leaders, the final section includes at least one musical setting of a poem or text for the primary events of the Christian year. The musical selections are by award-winning composer Mary K, Jackson, and the illustrations by award-winning illustrator Mark S. Kimbrough.

S T Kimbrough, Jr., holds a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently a research fellow of the Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition of Duke Divinity School. He has taught on leading faculties in the US (Princeton, New Brunswick, Wesley [Washington, DC], Drew Theological School), and abroad (Bonn University [Germany]). His is author of many books by Wipf and Stock, including fourteen books of poetry.


Often divine realities require strolling, not running, in order to cultivate the appropriate wonder. And so it is with the remembrance of God’s mighty acts of salvation in the church year. S T Kimbrough’s collection of timely poems ushers readers into such a stroll through the mysteries discovered in the rhythms of this year.

Lester Ruth, research professor of Christian worship, Duke Divinity School

Drawing upon his Wesleyan roots, appreciation for Orthodox mystery, and formation offered by the Christian year, S T Kimbrough, Jr., gifts us with fresh hymns suitable for devotional or congregational use. One of our generation’s leading Charles Wesley scholars, his texts are imbued with Wesley’s spirit, reflecting current devotional practice and societal needs. This volume is a gem—a creative distillation of a lifetime of singing, praying, and living the Wesleyan way while speaking to the existential issues of our lives.


C. Michael Hawn, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Church Music, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

The Christian year is a wonderful way to order time in line with our commitment to Christ and his reign. S T Kimbrough’s poetic meditations help us to find fresh meaning in the mystery as we keep time with Christ. What time is it? Kimbrough beautifully enables us to tell the time.


Will Willimon, Professor of the practice of Christian ministry, Duke Divinity School