Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Christmas Story--Through Mary's Eyes

It's getting to that time if year when most of us are thinking about Christmas presents. Hopefully, we are also thinking about the real meaning of Christmas. I mean real, not the stuff that shows up in movies and kid's books. It isn't about Santa Claus or Rudolph, snow or pretty lights and decorations. It isn't even about gift-giving and family getting together, as wonderful as that is. You know what it is, but it's hard to find any books that deal with the true story of Christmas. That's the story of the one gift above all gifts--God coming in human form to save us all. This blog is to review one rare book that deals with the true Christmas story. Rarer yet, this book looks at the whole thing from the perspective of one who knew just how everything went down--Mary.

Come to Me by Laura Davis is a loving, well-crafted story of Mary the mother of Jesus. Actually it goes far beyond the night Jesus was born, following Mary until her old age. In case you are wondering, this is historical fiction, taking the Biblical account and careful research to fill out how Mary's life and thought might have been. Truthfully, I was a little hesitant when I first started reading it, but I was soon won over. I'm sure many of you, like me, have wondered about how Mary felt when she was expecting Jesus, how the family reacted, her feelings about Joseph and what it was like for her as she gave birth in the stable. Her thoughts and hopes are considered as Jesus grows up, as he begins his ministry, and in that horrible time when he died. It doesn't end there, of course, but continues to the thrill when Jesus stood before his mother again--alive, when he ascended into Heaven and in that time after the Holy Spirit came and the disciples were scattered around the world as they knew it.

Much of this story is conjecture, of course, but it is based on a lot of research into the life and times of the Jews in that day. While there are some part that I might imagine a bit differently it is still within the realms of possibility. You might ask why we should even venture into this fictional account based on what we really know. For me, it helps to humanize Mary. Sometimes we have this vision of her on a pedestal, not a real person who dealt with all the drudgery and reality of living in that time period under Roman rule. She didn't walk around with a halo on her head. And while we know Jesus was a perfect son, not everything and everyone else had that same stamp of perfection. The love of a mother shines through, a love other mothers can identify with even if their children don't meet Jesus' standard. The rest of us can also identify with Mary's grief and hope, and I think it gives a new perspective to the real Jesus, all human and all divine.

Come to Me would be a good book for gift-giving, for book clubs or just for your own enjoyment and enrichment. I reviewed it last year as part of the CFRB virtual tour here. I felt compelled to revisit it, though, because it is one of the very few books (other than the Bible itself) that deals with the story of Jesus. If you wish to see an excerpt, you can read it here on Laura Davis' website.

Find out more about Laura and her writings at her website http://www.authorlauradavis.com/ . Laura also has a blog for reviews of other people's books.

I don't know where you might find the book on the shelves, but you should be able to order it in most Christian bookstores. Online, you can order it through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

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