Sharp About Your Prayers

the challenges, absurdities, and joys of an urban faith

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Great Joy!

December 13th, 2013 · No Comments · Faith and the City

At our house, the boxes have been carted up from the basement storage bin. The Christmas tree is in its stand, and the lights are strung. My wife’s Scandinavian straw goats (don’t ask!) have appeared. Stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

I have also unpacked our overly big carton of Christmas children’s books. We all have our favorites. Here are three that I commend to you as we get closer to Christmas 2013:

  • the nat vivasThe first is called simply The Nativity, illustrated by Julie Vivas. The text is basically Luke’s nativity from The New King James, but you want to get this book for its fabulous illustrations –pictures that make the text come alive for even the smallest among us!
  • I always recommend (especially in the week leading up to Pageant Sunday) Barbara Robinson’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. This is a good out-loud reading experience for everyone age eight and up, and will have all within earshot laughing at the antics of the Herdman kids — a rough-around-the-edges family who “get” the story of Christmas in a powerful way.
  • Finally, for a snuggle-down bedtime story I love Kate DiCamillo’s Great Joy. In this story, we get to look at the world through the eyes of little Frances as she contemplates her one line in the church pageant: “I bring you good tidings of great joy!”

Great JoyAll of these books, I think, help us to consider: What, really, brings us “great joy” in this season?

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as our little ones proclaim the story of Christ’s birth to us.

See you in worship,


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