Why Easter? /Why Christmas? By Barbara Reaoch, Ilustrated by Carol Mccarty
Easter and Christmas are two seasons that speak of the coming of Jesus, his death and resurrection, and the hope we have as believers. Yet, we often struggle to communicate these profound truths to our children. In steps Barbara Reaoch, with books on Easter and Christmas that reach the hearts and minds of children with biblically faithful lessons designed to help children trust in the Savior. The Easter book combines 28 lessons with beautiful illlustrations by Carol McCarty to get at the heart of the story of Jesus, his death and resurrection. Both books include times for scripture reading, truths, discussion, memory verses and singing.
I particularly thought that the lesson for Week 3, Day 16 was very insightful and encouraging. At the end of the lesson on Jesus being taken to the Sanhedrin and to Pilate, Barbara writes in the Discuss section, “Discuss “mighty triumph” and victor.” When it seemed that Pilate was in control how was Jesus triumphant. How was Jesus the real victor during these trials (36)?” We often think of triumph and victor in political and military terms, thus promoting the idea that force is the only way for kingship to be displayed, yet the kingship of Jesus was radically different. Barbara brings out the kingship of Jesus and his response to Pilate in a most interesting way by contrasting the way of Jesus and the way of Pilate.
The lesson on Luke 2.21-35 in Why Christmas was a very good retelling of Simeon and Jesus. The truth that Barbara captures is that, “God forgives anyone who trusts in Jesus (44).” Simeon had been waiting for a long time for the coming of the Messiah and when Jesus came joy came to this old man. Barbara reminds children that it is not a select few who are able to believe in Jesus or the elite, but anyone who trusts in Jesus, putting their whole lives in his hands. Barbara goes onto lead the children in a discussion regarding “all who heard it wondered,” signaling the great event of the telling of the coming King by the shepherds. Barbara links the truth of the story with what the people might’ve been feeling as they heard this marvelous story, in turn, causing children to wonder what they might’ve felt if they were hearing this same story.
I really appreciate both of these books for their keen insights, ability to draw children into the story of Jesus, and the way Barbara gets to the main theme of each story. Children will be challenged and blessed by these two books. I plan to use these two storybooks in church and at home with my daughter.
Thanks to Shepherd Press and Cross Focused Reviews for the copy of these books in exchange for an honest review.