Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Story - by Brian Wildsmith

another of my favorite Christmas picture books
A Christmas Story, by Brian Wildsmith

I don't know how Lionel got into the picture!

'And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.'- Luke 2:9-11

This book, A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith c. 1989, Alfred A. Knoph (and even then they were outsourcing, for this was printed in Hong Kong.) is a lovely picture book with beautiful illustrations, but it would definitely have to be categorized as 'picture book historical fiction.' I'd certainly not skip reading the Biblical account, the actual history of the birth of Jesus from Luke 2.

After all, this is what Christmas is really all about: the birth of Jesus, God in the flesh, who came to rescue us from our sinful, hopeless state.

Luke 2:1-20, Jesus' Birth in Bethlehem:

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and *the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

* The other night, a friend and I were discussing 'the glory of the Lord'. He reminded me of the Scripture that talks about Moses coming down from the mountain, his face aglow because he's been with the Lord. He had to keep his face covered in the company of the children of Israel. Also we read of Moses being hidden in the cleft of the rock as God passed by, the glory of the Lord being so powerful and radiant that it would have killed him, had God not had His back to Moses and Moses been protected by rock. No wonder the shepherds were terrified when 'the glory of the Lord shone round about them.'  Then again, would we expect the Creator (who can call worlds into being with His spoken word) and Sustainer of the Universe to be anything less than awesome and terrifying?

God loved us and sent a Savior.

The angels told the shepherds not to be afraid BECAUSE 'there has been born for you a Savior.'  It is the Savior, the Rescuer, who stands between us and judgment. He is our only hope.

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
all other ground is sinking sand.
- Edward Mote

Have a blessed CHRISTmas.



Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

Beautiful post and my favorite hymn.

Marti said...

I love the old hymns and this is one of my favorites. I always think of this when I read the Moses meeting God. It was the rock that protected Moses, and it is the Rock--on Christ the solid rock I stand--that protects us. Have a good day.

Life Happens said...

Thanks for the reminder of what this season is really about. I can't wait for matthew to get older so I can really teach him the true meaning of Christmas. :)

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Empty Nester said...

What a beautiful book- the illustrations are gorgeous!

Tiffanee said...

Wow! What a beautiful book. Love this story and the reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. I read one to my class on Sunday and cried all through it!!

J_on_tour said...

It seems that as the average parent romanticises the Christmas story to their children, so these elements seem to continue with them in later life.
As you point out that the reality of the events and reasons behind the Lord Jesus' birth are a bit more detailed and meaningful than a baby born in a manger. It's great to be reminded of these truths at Christmas and maybe we need to highlight the word Saviour to people within this context.

Denise said...

Really like this.

Under Her Wings said...

Oh, Judy, to think that God came as a babe in the flesh, lived on this cold, hard earth with sinful people like me, and then died willingly for the sins of mankind. Without the Spirit of God convicting and pleading, it would be impossible to comprehend! My prayer is that many will read this and understand. Thank you for using God's Word to tell His story.

Vicky @ Mess For Less said...

That is a beautiful book. The illustrations are so vivid. I may have to add that to my list. Thanks for sharing this important message. Have a blessed Christmas. Vicky from Mess For Less

Kara at Petals to Picots said...

Hi Judy! Thank you so much for stopping by my site. I am so glad I found yours! What a wonderful message you send! I am following you too :) Merry Christmas!
~Kara (


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