"In the perfect center of all my circles and of all the spheres of all the world--is Jesus. Here! Come and see! Can you see the tiny baby born? Can you see the Infant King? Can you recognize in him Immanuel? Now you are seeing Christmas."
And so, in this collection of powerful and evocative stories and essays, does Walter Wangerin open our eyes--and our hearts--to the truth of Christmas. A young boy, intent on self-protection, recognizes in his father's preparations for Christmas "a hope that risks a violent hurt"--and lays bare his heart to love. And so do we. A young girl, encountering death for the first time, finds hope in an empty manger. With her we, too, find hope. A family torn apart by grief finds Christmas once again--and when they do, we weep for both their pain and joy. We weep for ourselves.
The African hornbill gives up flight and freedom for the sake of her chicks--and we can only bow our hearts in wonder and gratitude for the sacrifice of Christ, who forsook the glory of heaven to take upon himself the form of man. So much did he love us!
The original carols woven throughout this beautiful book, three with musical scores included, are meant to be read or sung aloud. From the whimsical "Sing Softly the Cherries," to the joyful "Carol of All the Instruments," to the triumphant "In the Days of the Angels," Wangerin illuminates and celebrates the true meaning of Christmas. Come worship Immanuel with him.
As rare and precious as the gifts the magi brought the Christ child are the jewels presented in these pages by one of America's most beloved Christian storytellers. Full of vivid imagery and unexpected turns, the stories, essays, and original carols are lovingly crafted to reflect not only the Christmas story, but the whole of God's redemptive action in the world:
I will love you till day is done--
Love you until that night,
Night of dying,
Dies in rising!
Then in the holy dawn
I will bear you, my children, home--
Such is the beauty and power of these compelling pieces, whether you read them silently by the fire or aloud at your Advent celebration, you'll want to return to them year after year, again and again.
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Walter Wangerin, Jr., is widely known as a speaker and storyteller and the author of more than a dozen books, including The Book of the Dun Cow, which won the National Book Award in 1980 and which the New York Times called "far and away the most literate and intelligent story of the year"; Reliving the Passion; Little Lamb Who Made Thee?; and the recent bestseller, The Book of God. For sixteen years Wangerin was an inner-city pastor in Evansville, Indiana. He currently occupies the Jochum Chair at Valparaiso University, where he is writer-in-residence and a professor of writing and literature. He and his wife, Thanne, have raised four children.
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