Sunday, March 6, 2011

Shameless Promotion

I might have a rant or two tucked away in my heart's queue, ever-ready for sharing, when it comes to Children's [Christian] Books I Don't Like. One thing I can't stand is ethnocentrism. It's 2011 and we have archeology and anthropology and the internet all shouting to us, undeniably, that Jesus Wasn't White. So, if you want a spot on my son's bookcase, you better be historically accurate with your illustrations. The other thing I'm currently wrestling with is the violence of the Old Testament. I get plot. I love stories. But I don't know how to reconcile reading OT Bible stories to my son with teaching him biblical truths of forgiveness and love and obedience. So, I just flinch when Carter's music teacher candy-coats violent OT stories and I avoid them at home. 
With those two obstacles, Christian children's books have been having a hard time making the cut.

Until this one.

The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jago

The illustrations are award-winning. Tawny and bronzed, clad in robes and turbans, the characters on these pages actually seem to hail from the Middle East.

But it's the Story, the theology that flows within and throughout each individual story, that captures my heart and loyalty. My descriptions will fall short, so here's a listen to some of the actual text:

Creation: "But all the stars and the mountains and oceans and galaxies and everything were nothing compared to how much God loved his children. He would move heaven and earth to be near them. Always. Whatever happened, whatever it cost him, he would always love them. And so it was the wonderful love story began..."

The Fall: "Eve picked the fruit and ate some. And Adam ate some, too. And a terrible lie came into the world. It would never leave. It would live on in every human heart, whispering to every one of God's children: 'God doesn't love me.'" 

The Garden of Gethsemane: (Grab a tissue. My favorite.) "'Papa! Father!' Jesus cried. And he fell to the ground. 'Is there any other way to get your children back? To heal their hearts? To get rid of the poison?' But Jesus knew--there was no other way. All the poison of sin was going to have to go into his own heart. God was going to pour into Jesus' heart all the sadness and brokenness in people's hearts. He was going to pour into Jesus' body all the sickness in people's bodies. God was going to have to blame his son for everything that had gone wrong. It would crush Jesus."

The Pentecost: "As they waited, they were praying and remembering--remembering how, from the beginning, God had been working out his Secret Rescue Plan...inside their hearts, they felt a strange heat, almost as if the coldness and hardness were melting away. As if their broken hearts were mending. And God was giving them brand new hearts--hearts that could work properly." 

If you have children, you need this book. Carter and I read it every Sunday morning, before church (so Mommy can model to him that church is more than The Day Mommy Actually Puts on Makeup). If you don't have children, you need this book. Beth Moore (I heart you!) can move over--this book could compete with the most inspired devotionals for a spot on your bedside.

If you've stale-mated in your connection with God, go and buy this book. You'll fall in love with the pictures and poetry, and hopefully, more importantly, the Person of Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. Secret Rescue Plan - indeed. i love this! even though my boys are big i might need to have this. maybe i could understand romans better?