One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham is a beautifully illustrated picture book that you will want to add to your Christmas reading list!
A young “mountain smart” boy ends up caught in a snowstorm and seeks shelter in a log home his grandpa helped build. The elderly woman who lives there welcomes him with “frying bacon, fresh coffee and wood smoke” that sets the scene for the Christmas story she shares with him while waiting out the snowstorm.
In the beginning, the earth was shapeless and empty; and darkness was over the face of the deep. Then God began to move.
Yes, the Christmas story begins at the beginning, all the way back in Genesis with the first people, through sin’s entry into the world, the saving of those few on Noah’s ark, the promises made through Abraham, Moses leading God’s children out of Egypt, Samson, David, Daniel, and God’s wonderful promise:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined…. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:2, 6)
Then we meet Mary and Joseph, and see a miracle in a manger. But the story, of course, does not end there.
And in that awful stillness, a single loud cry arose.
“My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?”
No answer. Only silence. Then the same voice, exclaiming, “It is finished!”
The figure on the cross slumped….
In beautiful language, the woman explains to the boy our need of a Savior and the result of His work on the cross.
And Jesus was that Savior.
God did not send Him to deliver them from unjust rulers, from illness or unpleasant situations. He was born to die, to die for the sins of mankind. Those who were sorry for their sins, even the worst of people, could be forgiven. And they once more would know the joy of companionship with God lost so long ago in Eden.
Through His death and resurrection, the baby born that night in Bethlehem had become Lord of all.
This is the real meaning of Christmas, the joy and glory of it!
In these times when Christmas tends to get lost in the busy, the loud, the commercial, the flashy … the insignificant, this book shines a light on the real gift!
A wonderful family read-aloud, from the youngest to the oldest, each and every year.