Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Touching Wonder

Heard the Christmas Story a Few Too Many Times?

With his instant classic, Touching Wonder, author John Blase breathes new life into the story of the Nativity

The official word:
Little children understand how amazing the Nativity story is. But, sometimes, as we become men and women, we put away the childlike with the childish. The result? We lose something vital—the wonder of it all. When author John Blase went looking for the lost wonder of Christmas, he went back to the place he’d last seen it—the stories from Luke 1-2. What he found fills the pages of his new book, Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas (David C Cook, September 2009), with flesh and bone and dust and night and a baby’s cry; the intimate union of human and divine—the Incarnation.

By boldly imagining the first two chapters of the gospel of Luke, writer, editor, and former pastor John Blase has created an instant classic for Christmastime. In a tale that reads like a novel parallel parked by the record of Scripture, Blase beckons those who could use a little wonder in their lives to step onto the stage of history and witness the long awaited coming of the Messiah. With Eugene Peterson’s The Message Bible translation as his backdrop, Blase adds his own voice and commentary to the historic events, exploring the renowned drama from an array of viewpoints.

In Touching Wonder, readers will meet a cast of unruly unlikelies—a frightened teenaged girl, a worried carpenter, a collection of senior citizens, a disillusioned young shepherd, even an angel or two—moving toward the realization that the little one just born is the One. This imaginative retelling of the grand miracle will leave readers wide-eyed, slack-jawed, and heart-full. The Lord is come!

In this lovely and distinctive book to be read…and re-read…and pondered in the heart, young and old will recapture the wonder of the Christmas story by seeing through the eyes of those who lived it. The book’s graceful design and Amanda Jolman’s beautiful line drawings combine to make this a thoughtful Christmas gift as well as a wonder that families will treasure for years to come.

Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas by John Blase
David C Cook/September 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6465-2/hardcover/128 pages/$12.99

Tricia's take:
This brief review of the Christmas story as told in Luke was not what I expected. I expected a deeper look into the events of Christ’s birth from an anthropological point of view, examining the customs of the time and what life was truly like at that time, in that moment. Instead it went deeper in a different way, offering first person narratives from the point of view of many of the players: Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, Zechariah, the angel.

This personal touch did make the story more real, as it gave a humanness to these people. A sense that they were real and had real thoughts, fears, emotions, pain; they are not just porcelain figurines in pristine surroundings.

This little book is worth taking the time to read as it leaves one thinking more about Jesus’ birth. Even if you have heard the story more times than you can count.  It gives us another way to look at the glory that is Christ’s coming to earth as a baby to save us. A deeper look at a handful of people who, like us, are living, breathing, thinking, feeling children of God.


Jenibug7 said...

Ok, let me first admit that when I started reading the top of your entry, I totally thought that was your review. Not that you aren't a GREAT writer (and I am loving this whole book thing!), but I was like, "Wow!! Tricia did an AMAZING job with this book review! She should seriously consider writing professionally! This is really, really good! oh, wait, it looks like this is from the cover of the book or something. oh, ok, someone else wrote that. oh well."
But I do love what you wrote too! Another great xmas one I love is the one that yall did the musical to a few years ago- Two from Galilee. Such a great book!

tricia said...

Hilarious! And I am so flattered you thought I could actually write that. I wish I was that eloquent. I used to think I was a fairly good communicator, but writing this blog is keeping me humble - I criticize my "work" all the time!
PS - I love Two From Galilee too! (and it was fun to do the musical!!)