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Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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About the Author
John Blase’s publications include the Living the Questions and Living the Letters Bible-study series, the Worldviews reference book (TH1NK), Real Life Stuff for Couples, and The Message Children’s Bible. A former pastor, John currently serves as an editor for David C. Cook. He lives with his wife and three children in Colorado.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Nativity narrative from A Charlie Brown Christmas, the annual pageant at Downtown Tall Steeple Church, at Remote Rural Neighborhood Parish. Shop windows, living room manger sets, greeting cards, too. Touching Wonder is just right for this Christmas, since this is Luke's lectionary year... but wait! We read Luke's account every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but nonetheless Caesar, Herod, John the Baptist, the Jerusalem Temple, Luke's subversive canticles, divine surprises, angels and shepherds, still set the scene so very well for traveling again through Luke's gospel during RCL year C.
Passages from Eugene Peterson's The Message open each of the dozen chapters; author John Blase then provides a reflective response in the form of an imaginatively possible story in the same style and mood as Peterson's language, and concludes with prayer printed on parchment in a handwriting font―or maybe in the author's own hand. The prayers form a helpful model of what ours might be as we consider these texts and their meanings in our lives. Besides the Luke pericopes, there's a brief John 17:1-5 "clip" from Jesus' high priestly prayer; it follows Psalm 29:3-10, subtitled "The Father."
This would be a perfect seasonal gift for almost anyone, church-goer or not. The excellent fit of Peterson's and Blase's language to the earthiness, messiness, and politicalness of Luke's über-familiar chronicle well might make a skeptic take another look at the eschatological enterprise called "Christianity." Or maybe not. In any case, who would not be delighted by Amanda Jolman's literally lovely illustrations?
A big "thank you" that I was able to get the kindle version of Touching Wonder as a free download!
It may not be a best-seller, nor one that you'll buy by the dozen to send as Christmas cards, but it is basic, easily appreciated, the story of the nativity as seen through the eyes of those that were there--so to speak. Each chapter takes a portion of the Biblical story, from The Message, and then follows it with a bit of first hand reporting, of a sort, appearing to be coming from the character involved in the selected verses that tell a portion of the birth story. Their common, human-like depiction of the event, as seen through their eyes, depicts the scene with a more earthly awareness than is often found in Christmas versions of the Nativity story.
It is the intent of the author, as I understand his own words, that "Touching Wonder" is to get us all in touch with the wonder of Christmas, the splendor of the event, but at the earthly level that it actually did happen. Birth in a stable. Common shepherds heralded. A mother who felt the birth pains. A husband concerned for his mate. Earthy, yet designed by the Master of Heaven.
Christmas is a great story for all to believe. This book shares it simply.