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Why This Jubilee?

Advent Reflections on Songs of the Season

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Music is such an important part of Advent and Christmas. Can you imagine Advent without "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"? How about Christmas without carols like "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "Silent Night," and "Joy to the World"?

It pleases the Lord Jesus when we sing of his coming with carols we know by heart. It pleases him even more when we think about the words we are singing.

In 24 reflections on well-known carols and Christmas songs, James Howell explores the birth of Jesus. He ponders the meaning of certain phrases from these songs and relates them to our daily lives.

Our eCourse includes weekly video introductions from author James Howell, beautiful recorded renditions of Christmas songs, audio recordings of weekly prayers, all of the daily readings included in Howell's book, and a place for group discussion.

The four weeks are arranged by themes:

The Place

The Men (Joseph, shepherds, magi)

The Mother

The Child

Join James Howell and new or old friends in this rich remembrance for the Advent and Christmas seasons.

  • Register alone, and you'll be entered in a group with others around the world who are taking this eCourse together.
  • Join as a group of 5, 10, 15, or 20 and we'll open a private classroom for your group. Questions about the private classroom? Email us at urelearning@upperroom.org.

To purchase a print version of Why this Jubilee?, visit The Upper Room bookstore.


Your Instructor


James C. Howell
James C. Howell

Dr. James C. Howell has been senior pastor of Myers Park United Methodist Church since 2003, and has served churches in the Charlotte area for 25 years. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Duke Divinity School, and has a Ph.D. from Duke. He has published a number of books, the most recent being Struck from Behind – My Memories of God. He serves on numerous nonprofit boards in the community, speaks frequently in Charlotte and around the country, and is an adjunct professor of preaching at Duke Divinity School.

Quotable Quote: "I love to preach, and try to think a lot about the intersection between God's story and what's going on in the lives of people and our community and world."

Fun Facts: Dr. Howell grew up in Columbia. He and Lisa Stockton Howell (her dad, Tom, pastored Myers Park United Methodist) have three children: Sarah, Grace and Noah. He bikes, loves books and movies, plays piano and played Captain von Trapp in a community theater production of The Sound of Music.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
Who sponsors these online courses?
These online courses are brought to you by The Upper Room.

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