We have heard the story year after year: the stable, the shepherds, the wise men, the star. It is easy to let that familiarity rub some of the wonder off Jesus’ birth story. But it is wonderful—that the nativity exists at all; that it is peopled with livestock, angels, and dazed and newly benighted parents; that the Maker of all things entered creation there, amid the blood and pain of birth? This news is wonderful and worth hearing anew every year. God does not distance himself from us but draws near, taking on our humblest, most helpless form in order to show us his love.
Because our family needs to hear this story over and over again, I am always grateful for books that tell it in creative and faithful ways. Katy Morgan’s new book, The Promise and the Light, is one of the better retellings I’ve found lately: a chapter book that invites readers into the Christmas story. But you always get to hear my mom-perspective on books, so I thought it would be fun, today, to share my oldest daughter’s recommendation. And so, from Lydia:
“The Promise and the Light, by Katy Morgan, is the story of Christmas. But it isn’t the bare-bones, fly-over view of the story given to us in the Gospels; it is a well-woven tapestry written by an author who really knows what she is doing. Morgan gives us a glimpse into the lives of a carpenter named Joseph, a girl named Mary, and a priest named Zechariah. She shows us what it might have been like to have lived through the Christmas story, and what the primary characters might have thought about their roles in God’s plan.”
Through this book, Morgan reminds us that the joy of Christmas isn’t found in the “Seasonal” aisle of Costco but in the knowledge that Christ is truly “God With Us”—the God who knows our weakness and limitations, who is with us in our suffering and in our celebrations. As you all celebrate his birth, I pray that you would find comfort in his presence and be strengthened, in him, for the coming year.
And now, a bit of housekeeping: This is the final review for 2021! I’ll take the next few weeks off, but I’ll return in 2022 with the annual “Best Books I Read Last Year” list—and with some exciting news. Stay tuned!
The Promise and the Light: A Christmas Retelling
Katy Morgan (2021)
Disclosure: I did receive a copy of this book for review, but I was not obligated to review it or compensated for my review in any way. I share this book with you because I love it, not because I was paid to do so.