We found it. We found our children’s Christmas book for the year. The highlight of our annual Christmas shopping downtown was Powell’s Books (and the falafel pocket sandwich at the Saturday Market). John and I headed to the children’s section (with many detours along the way), gathered an armload of promising-looking Christmas books from the shelves, and settled onto two pint-sized chairs next to a tiny table. We were looking for a book that combined a beautiful story with rich illustrations and the sort of winsome text that appeals to children.
We found it. Actually we found several, but my personal favorite of the three we brought home was Song of the Stars, by Sally Lloyd-Jones, who authored my favorite, The Jesus Bible Storybook. Just as she does in her Bible storybook, Sally Lloyd-Jones approaches the account of Jesus’ birth from a fresh, but biblically sound, perspective. Combine that with Alison Jay’s rich and imaginative illustrations and Jones’s lyrical text and you’ve got a winner in our household!
What I love most about this book is the way it captures the eager anticipation of Christ’s birth. It starts out with, “The world was about to change forever, and it almost went by unnoticed…”, and then goes on to show us all creation trembling in excitement, awaiting His arrival. The wind, the wild animals, the flowers and skies and seas, the grass and stars — they all breathe out, “It’s time! It’s time!” They all marvel that the One who created them has come to live with them.
It made me think of the carol, “O Come, O come, Emmanuel (“God-with-us”), and ransom captive Israel.” It made me think of the Psalms and their joyful pictures of hills clapping and seas roaring because Jesus has come to rule the world. It brought to mind the little drawings of those hills and seas in the margins of my Bible.
He made us. He made the world. He joined us. He became one of us so that He could redeem us. Let’s not feel guilty about giving and decorating and singing and feasting. He’s won! He reigns! Nothing will ever be the same! We should celebrate!
“Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together. Before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity” (Psalm 98:7-9).
We would like to give away one of Susan Lloyd-Jones’ books. The winner will be able to choose between a copy of The Jesus Bible Storybook or Song of the Stars. To enter, list your favorite children’s Christmas storybook in the comments below. You may only enter one time, and you must enter by tomorrow (Wednesday, December 19) at noon, PST. That way we will be able to get the book to the winner before Christmas Day!
Merry Christmas! Enjoy these days of anticipation and preparation!