The Holy in the Night: Finding Freedom in a Season of Waiting


Product Details

$16.99  $15.80
Herald Press (VA)
Publish Date
6.2 X 7.7 X 0.9 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Shannon W. Dycus is vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and author of the women's Bible study Every Time I Feel the Spirit with Herald Press. She was previously copastor at First Mennonite Church in Indianapolis, supporting the spiritual formation of that community through preaching and teaching. Shannon holds a degree in secondary education from Butler University and received her master of divinity from Christian Theological Seminary. With passion for holistically journeying with people, Shannon is also a trained spiritual director through San Francisco Theological Seminary. Shannon is active in writing and worship development roles with Mennonite Church USA.


"The Holy in the Night is a profound Advent devotional that invites us to listen, find safe space for lament, and breathe deeply as we connect our prayers to our very breath. As a Black woman theologian, Shannon W. Dycus writes from her own lived experiences as a spiritual director, pastor, mother, spouse, and educator, reclaiming her divinity and freedom. This book not only draws from the biblical narrative but also amplifies the voices of contemporary prophets like Zora Neale Hurston, Audre Lorde, and Cherríe Moraga, recognizing their contributions as carriers of God's still-speaking voice. Using passages from both the Old and New Testaments--many of them challenging ones--as well as modern texts, Dycus invites readers to engage with the complexities of faith while centering the sacred voices that reside in darkness."
--TERENCE LESTER, founder of Love Beyond Walls and author of All God's Children
"Reading Shannon Dycus's Advent devotional is like watching a gardener describe the warm texture of soil from which faith is born. Through poems, narratives, familiar biblical stories, and wise companions, Dycus draws the reader into a season of the church life that is both longing and freedom. Her reflections break through our layers of everyday exhaustion and lead us to look, listen, and wonder: What is God doing now?"
--MELISSA FLORER-BIXLER, author of How to Have an Enemy and lead pastor of Raleigh Mennonite Church
"This is a book for all of us who long for a better future while slogging through the world as it is, trudging along with our lives as they are. Shannon Dycus invites us into a posture of patience, of prayer--to notice our breath and wait for God. Because to be where we are is to dwell in the presence of God."
--ISAAC VILLEGAS, ordained minister and contributing editor to Christian Century
"The Holy in the Night offers a grace-filled invitation to dwell in holy darkness during a sometimes too-bright season; it offers a challenging reminder of our freedom in Christ just when we may feel most confined by expectations. Dycus's reflections, sermonettes, and poetic prayers can help us move through the Advent and Christmas season with renewed attention to the One we anticipate and celebrate."
--JOANNA HARADER, author of Expecting Emmanuel and pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, Kansas
"In using a staple of many a Christmas playlist to reframe and renew the season of Advent, Shannon W. Dycus is offering us some profound insights. The first one that grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go: 'Marketing and capitalism say go extravagant; Advent says there is value in simple gifts. Advent is resistance.' Alongside such bold claims, Dycus also gently shows us how to interpret our context in harmony with the ancient context that gifted us with our scriptures as well as with a nineteenth-century vision of abolition and emancipation that she invites us to make our own today."
--MALINDA ELIZABETH BERRY, associate professor of theology and ethics and director of Faith Formation Collaborative at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
"The Holy in the Night fills the much-needed void for Advent devotionals that elevate Black and Brown voices. It is useful for personal and congregational use as we all learn to wait. Shannon Dycus's devotional leads us to wait for Christmas, as we all wait in our current Advent, for our incarnate Lord to come again."
--JONNY RASHID, author of Jesus Takes a Side and pastor of West Philadelphia Mennonite Church
"Shannon Dycus guides the reader with a beautiful combination of pastoral care, keen scholarship, and an eye on the beauty and complexity of the twenty-first century. Dycus assures us that the Advent journey--our movement toward God--welcomes our fears and our hopes, our joys and our sorrows."
--REGINA SHANDS STOLTZFUS, professor of peace, justice, and conflict studies at Goshen College and coauthor of Been in the Struggle
"Shannon Dycus has written a timely and compelling Advent devotional that connects the ancient lessons of Scripture with the everyday lives of Jesus followers. For those looking to slow down, follow an accessible daily devotional, and connect with God during the Advent season, The Holy in the Night is for you!"
--JOSH BUCK, author of Everyday Activism