Did you download a copy of The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke for $0.99? (See Wednesday’s post, “The Heart of Christmas” for an introduction to this Christmas classic.) I recommend it. It is a literary treat and a soul-stirring experience.
As I mentioned Wednesday, I first heard it as a teen, when our dad read it to us just before Christmas. What I didn’t say is that he first heard it as a college student. A professor or campus guest (I don’t remember) recited the entire short novel from memory during a special program. The story became one of my dad’s favorites, but it also inspired a thought: What a great idea to write a fiction story revolving around a biblical story! Eventually, Dad did write two such novels. The first–just like Van Dyke’s tale–was a novel about events surrounding the Nativity. Here is a synopsis of this tale, Friend of Angels:
With the visit of an angel, Mary accepted the difficult honor of becoming the mother of the Son of God. With the guidance of several angelic visits, Joseph took on his unusual, taxing, and even dangerous assignment— to protect and provide for them both. Some of the ingredients of Joseph’s story are mentioned in brief gospel narratives of Jesus’ infancy and childhood. Then the record of Joseph goes silent.
After careful research, the author has fleshed out Joseph’s story. Come with him as he takes you under the shadow of Masada, through treacherous mountain terrain, and along bandit-infested trade routes on the flight to Egypt. Follow them home to Nazareth, where Jesus’ peaceful days of growing up alongside his carpenter father were interrupted by Joseph’s untimely—and possibly traumatic— death. Be inspired and awed by this earthly father of Jesus who laid down his life to preserve for us a Savior.
For a chance to receive an autographed copy of Friend of Angels, comment today–or comment on next Monday’s or next Wednesday’s post. The winner will be announced next Thursday, December 20. The winner of the book will receive it after Christmas–an appropriate time to receive a book about what probably happened after Jesus’ birth. (If you prefer to buy one now to give as a gift, please follow this link.