It is time for us to renew Christmas. We all know the story, but do we, really?
18 years ago, the director of St. Thomas More's Gospel Choir, Henry Herrera, came to me with an idea for a Christmas program to be done just before Midnight Mass. He knew I was a writer and lector, so he proposed that we come up with an overall theme and a selection of Christmas carols. I would do a reflection leading into each song. He would pick the songs and give me the list. We would both work on a theme. Little did we know what The Holy Spirit was going to do with that "little" idea." Each year, He has inspired Henry and me with a wonderful and powerful theme, and as a special gift, The Holy Spirit has given me a poem--not just the idea, but the whole poem, and always from a perspective which was not only new to the parishioners at St. Thomas More, but to me as well. Last year, after Mass, Sr. Ellen, with whom I had had a cordial relationship for several years, came up to me and told me that she loved my work and that she was an illustrator. I had long wanted to publish a children's book and was in fact, looking for an illustrator. I don't think God could have sent me a more wonderful artist. This book encompasses four of those poems and the collaboration has changed two acquaintances into two friends. It also turns out that the book has been loved by all of the adults who have read it, making it a book for all ages for all Ages.
This book explores the wonder of Christmas from some perspectives that have never been seen before and takes us on a completely unique journey to Bethlehem. It uses voices which we know but have probably not really thought about, but whose powerful ruminations give Christmas a whole new face. Listen to John The Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth when her cousin Mary visits her. Does the donkey have any idea of how important his role is, as he carries Mary to Bethlehem? Listen to a lost, mysterious character, Agnes, as she approaches the baby Savior. And finally, what must it have been like for Jesus as a baby, experiencing the world for the first time as one of us--a fully human being? Imagine God Himself actually wondering, musing, being surprised, and being fully dependent on two human parents.
This book will make you, the reader, regardless of your age, appreciate Christmas like you have never appreciated it before, and fill you with wonder, joy, and hopefully, a new insight into Christmas, The Mystery, and The Wonder.