“Why Christmas?” by Barbara Reaoch and illustrated by Carol MCCarty (Shepherd Press, 2012) Has a great combination of scriptures to study during the weeks leading up to Christmas . The 4 week plan has a Scripture reading for each day, followed by a devotion, and what the author calls the Truth, as short pithy statement that encapsulates the Scripture passage. She also includes some discussion questions for each day, and for each week there is a scripture passage to memorize. Each day’s lesson closes with a Christmas Carol that the family can sing together.
The scripture passages that Reaoch has chosen tell the traditional Nativity story along with some of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies, and some New Testament commentary on the person of Christ. The passages are the appropriate ones needed to tell the story, and theologically her devotional comments are sound, and written for children. However some of the discussion questions seemed overly simplistic, while others seemed to be more mature than would seem to go with the comments.
I liked the concept, but somehow the layout seemed dated to me. The illustrations are the same style that I remember from my childhood, and when I asked my college-aged son what time frame the illustrations were drawn in, he suggested that they were probably from the 60’s or 70’s. The Carols that she chose fit the scriptures, but for younger children I think it might have been better to focus on one hymn each week rather than skip back and forth.
I’m hard put to decide what age group this works for. The comments seem to be for one age group and the discussion questions for another. Like in “Why Easter?”, there is nothing to really dislike, but for me the pieces don’t fit together well enough that I can offer a rave review.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Cross Focused Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.