The Christmas Story
A beautifully illustrated story of Christ's birth
The Christmas Story: Drawn Directly From the Bible (make sure the title is in italics), edited by Edward a. Engelbrecht and Gail E. Pawlitz, is, as the title implies, a story about JesusÃ¢ÂÂ birth, with the Scriptures being used as part of the actual text.
However, this isnÃ¢ÂÂt your normal Christmas story. This one is divided into chapters and starts with a chapter titled, Ã¢ÂÂThe Birth of John Foretold.Ã¢ÂÂ The next chapter is Ã¢ÂÂThe Birth of Jesus Foretold.Ã¢ÂÂ Subsequent chapters tell the story MaryÃ¢ÂÂs visit to Elizabeth, the birth of John the Baptist, the angelÃ¢ÂÂs visit to Joseph, JesusÃ¢ÂÂ birth, and the visit of the three Wise Men.
Bible references are given for each chapter of the story. Each chapter also includes a list of vocabulary words that are used in the text, along with questions for the reader to answer, something for the reader to do, and a prayer to pray that corresponds to the text. For example, in the chapter titled Ã¢ÂÂThe Birth of John,Ã¢ÂÂ Luke Chapter One is given as the Bible reference. The vocabulary words are mercy, prophesied, redeemed, prophets and salvation.
The reader is asked: Ã¢ÂÂWhen the baby was born, who came to rejoice with Zechariah and Elizabeth? What did Zechariah and Elizabeth name the baby? What did Zechariah say about the baby? All of these questions provide a background for discussion about the storyÃ¢ÂÂs contents.
The reader is told: Ã¢ÂÂGodÃ¢ÂÂs people still sing ZechariahÃ¢ÂÂs happy words. Make up a happy song about how God has blessed your family.Ã¢ÂÂ
The reader is given this prayer: Ã¢ÂÂHeavenly Father, You sent John to tell people that Jesus was coming to forgive their sins. Thank you for grown-up people who tell me that Jesus loves me and can forgive the wrong things I think or say or do. Amen.Ã¢ÂÂ
The song Ã¢ÂÂOh, Come, Little ChildrenÃ¢ÂÂ is printed on the inside of the back cover.
The illustrations, done by Corbert Gauthier, Cheri Bladholm, and Phil Howe, are beautifully painted, creating life-life characters that look like they could walk out of the pages of the book.
What I Like: Everything.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
November 12, 2011