Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Shepherds' Prayer by Richard M. Barry

Very few books make it to my annual reading shelf. Of course, the Bible is number one. It is the only book that I read daily. Every Easter I find myself re-reading Suddenly, One Morning by Chuck Swindoll. Now I will be adding
The Shepherds' Prayer to my annual Advent reading.

The story follows a young man's journey to find his past. His adopted father found Anam when he was an infant. Anam's mother was already dead when he was found. The only clue to his past was the blanket he was wrapped in. A blanket that leads him to Bethlehem. Anam returns to his birthplace, hoping to find his family. The clue shows a connection to someone named Jesus.

When people think of Christmas, we think of the birth of our Savior. We think of Mary and Joseph, the angels, the manger, and times of great joy because of God's gift to us. This book takes at look at the shepherds and the all too human reaction of the residents of Bethlehem.

The author puts you in the place of the shepherds. Shepherds are referred to many times during Christmas but do you ever stop and imagine what life was like for them? This book will give you a taste of their life.

The most startling aspect of the book was the reaction of the townspeople. When Anam starts questioning the people about Jesus, he does not get the response he expects. The people of Bethlehem remember Jesus' birth as a time of pain and suffering. They remember the slaughter of the innocents by Herod. How would you feel if you lost a child or family member and a stranger asked you about the time it happened?

Based on what I have described, The Shepherds' Prayer sounds depressing. But it is not. It is a reminder of what happened during the time of our Savior's birth. The life of Anam is an uplifting story when it is finished.

Highly recommended.

You can read(or listen to) the first two chapters at http://www.christmasbook.com/.

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