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Saturday, December 13, 2008

An Advent Family Tradition

We began a Family tradition a few years ago taking turns at night reading an Advent story. It is a great time of family bonding, each has a role to play as we take turn reading out loud to the family.

We found a series of books designed especially for Advent.

We are currently reading:

Bartholomew's Passage

The thunder was strange. Usually it came in off the lake they called Galilee. But on this Sabbath afternoon it rolled in from over the town. No matter, thinks ten-year-old Bartholomew. It's been a good day, with new friends and good trades made. Father is home with a good catch, and there's deer meat for dinner. No thunderstorm could ruin such a day!

But then Bartholomew discovers that the thunder does not come from the clouds, it comes from the hooves of horses -- Roman horses, carrying Roman soldiers. In minutes, Bartholomew's peaceful town is in chaos, his family is lost, and he himself is taken prisoner.

Bartholomew tumbles through the mixed-up days that follow, finding himself the property of a slave owner in Ceasarea. His treatment there is criminal, yet it is he who is sentenced to a terrible punishment -- a punishment which leads him to take desperate measures to escape. Cornered by Roman soldiers, all hope is lost for Bartholomew until a Fool jumps in to rescue him with wit and guile.

With the entire Roman Legion tracking them now, Bartholomew and his new friend make passage through a strange and wondrous land, full of strange and wondrous people. Eventually they find themselves the guests of a Persian wise man as his caravan camps along the road of a small town called Bethlehem. The events of that particular night will once again change Bartholomew's life forever -- in ways which he thought were impossible.

Last year we read and enjoyed

A Storybook for Advent
by Arnold Ytreeide

Jotham's Journey is an incredible family read for Christmas time. Each night you share a portion of the story with your family. And each nightly reading leaves you hanging ready for the next night's passage.

Follow Jotham's Journey , a story of a young boy, separated from his family by his neglect and selfish attitude. This separation leads him on a journey to find his family. Will he ever find his family again?

Hold your breath when Jotham faces thieves, robbers, and kidnappers. Rejoice in his encounters with wise men, shepherds, and innkeepers until at last he finds his way to the Saviour born in Bethlehem.

And next year:

Tabitha's Travels

In a page-turner like Jotham's Journey and Bartholomew's Passage, this exciting story takes readers through Advent to Christmas as they follow young Tabitha on her adventures.

Curious, competent, and courageous. Tabitha is the daughter of Eliakim, a shepherd who is taking is family on caravan to his birthplace. Along the way she meets and becomes friends with Jotham and Bartholomew, watches as Romans take her father prisoner, spends time with Zachary and Elizabeth, rescues her father, helps Mary and Joseph just before Christ's birth, and ends her travels with the wonderful climax at the stable in Bethlehem.

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