Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Shepherds' Prayer~ A Christmas Novel by Richard M. Barry

I was recently blessed to receive a copy of The Shepherds' Prayer to review.  What a lovely little book!  This book, though it is rather short and can be read in one sitting, is packed with a wonderful storyline that prompts alot of thoughts concerning the time of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem.  For example, have you ever stopped to consider how the shepherds must have felt?  They were considered of a very lowly position, yet who did the Angel of God first appear to and proclaim the birth of the Messiah?  Wow!  Also, have you ever given much thought to the decree that Herod passed, requiring all male children, under the age of two, to be killed?  Sometimes I think we become so familiar with the Bible account, that we tend to overlook some of the "extras" that aren't so stressed when the story is re-told.  As the mother of an 18-month-old son, this point really makes me think~ I can't imagine my son being killed just because the king said so.  I'd definitely want to fight to protect my child, at all costs.

This story starts when a young woman from Bethlehem is fleeing with her baby, in order to spare his life.  Thirty years later, we are reintroduced to this baby, who has been adopted by a prestigious family and grown into a young man who has alot of questions about his past.  Where did he come from?  Where does he belong?  Does he have a real name? 

Anam sets out on a journey to get some answers.  In so doing, he ends up finding out that his birth was directly connected to the birth of the Messiah.  He also learns some other important lessons~ that God sometimes chooses to use "the least of these" to carry out His plans, and that God is always God, despite difficult and challenging circumstances that we may have to face. 

Yes, some liberties have been taken to "enhance" the Christmas story.  But, I love that!  It really makes you think about what the times must have been like, and how we would have reacted if put in a similar circumstance. 

I would highly recommend The Shepherds' Prayer. It would make a great addition to any home or church library.  It would make a wonderful gift for that hard-to-buy for person in your life who has everything!  I believe that it's one of those books that you will want to pick up and read each year.  I'd actually love to see it made into a movie~ it would be a great one!

If you would like to learn more about The Shepherds' Prayer, click here (on this website, you can even read the first two chapters!)  If you'd like to order a copy of The Shepherds' Prayer, click here (there are big discounts for ordering multiple copies).  If you'd like to read others' opinions of this great book, click here (there is even a review by Chuck Colson).  

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