Unwrapping the Names of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu {book review}


Unwrapping the Names of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu {book review}

The title and cover of this book are so perfect, aren’t they? Inviting and festive, focused on the Christ-Child.

About the Book: 

How to focus on Christ during Advent

Most Christians agree that Christmas is all about Jesus, yet most of us spend little time preparing our hearts to celebrate Him. Why is this? Partly because we don’t know how.

In Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, Asheritah Ciuciu leads readers through the four weeks of Advent (Hope, Preparation, Joy, and Love). Each week:

  • Begins with an interactive family devotional that equips readers to celebrate Advent together
  • Offers five daily reflections that focus on that week’s name of Jesus
  • Includes suggestions for fun-filled family activities or service projects

This devotional can be used by readers in their own personal worship times or as a tool to engage in family worship during the busy holiday season. Either way, participants will gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is.

By focusing on the person and character of Jesus throughout the Advent season, readers will prepare their hearts so that when they admire the live nativity, sit in the candlelight service, or wake up on Christian morning, they can join the faithful who sing from the bottom of their hearts, “O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

My Reaction:

I really wanted to love this book. I wanted it to ‘wow’ me, to teach me something I didn’t already know. But it didn’t, and I was disappointed. I still love the cover and the theme, but the wow factor was not there.

And I think I know why.

The intended use for Unwrapping the Names of Jesus is as a daily devotional for the four weeks of advent celebrated in a family group, with Bible readings and discussion and activities. Each day presents a challenge, prayer and Bible passages for further study.

The book covers a different theme every week in addition to five names of Jesus. It provides a repetitive pattern for worship rather than presenting the person of Christ. Perhaps I was looking for something other than what is offered. It is full of information and suggestions unrelated to the names of Jesus. I didn’t get the connection.

I would love to use the book with a group of young children and see where it takes them. I would love to study the names of Jesus in more depth. I would love to be more familiar with the names and what they say about His person. These are the desires I had before reading the book.

Next year I would like to take one name per week, rather than a different one every day. Maybe use the four weeks over a four year period and go deeper.

The author asked on social media what our favorite name of Jesus is? Mine is Immanuel, God with us. When I truly consider that God’s Son left His Father in heaven to dwell among us, I lose sight of the holiday we celebrate in December because so much of what we do has nothing to do with Immanuel.

The more I ponder who Jesus was in the flesh, and the lack of response in most of mankind, the less need I see for the celebration of advent. The focus shifts to His death and resurrection, and the coming events when He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

I recommend this book to all readers interested in going deeper during the season celebrating Christ’s birth. My intent is not to discourage you from using this book, but in providing further food for thought in its use.

My Rating:  3 stars

I received my copy of Unwrapping the Names of Jesus from Moody Press in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. I also wish to note that my theology is in line with the author’s, if Cedarville and Clarks Summit still agree on the authority of the Bible.

For more reviews, check out the author’s post as well as Goodreads’ reviews of the book. This review is also posted on the Moody Press website and on Christianbook.com.

ASHERITAH CIUCIU is an author, speaker, and blogger. She grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and studied English and Women’s Ministry at Cedarville University in Ohio.

Her passion is helping women find joy in Jesus through a deeper walk with God, and she shares personal stories and practical tips on http://www.OneThingAlone.com. She’s also a regular contributor to FortheFamily.org and Ungrind.com.

Asheritah is married to Flaviu and together they raise their spunky children in northeast Ohio.

Find out more about Asheritah Ciuciu by following her website, One Thing Alone: finding joy in Jesus or simply read her About page. Or follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for encouragement in your daily walk. Follow on Goodreads to keep up with this author’s newest books.

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