I was well into my twenties before I realized that each of our four gospels treated Jesus’ birth story differently. Mark skips it, starting with adult Jesus. Luke includes Elizabeth and Zecharriah, Mary’s response to the Angel Gabrielle, the shepherds and angels, and young Jesus’ blessing in Jerusalem. Matthew includes the Angel Gabrielle’s conversation with Joseph, the wise men, and Mary, Joseph and Jesus fleeing Herod’s reign to Egypt. John backs way up and starts with a passage that reminds us of our creation story: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.” With each version our question as followers of Jesus is what Holy wisdom can we glean from the truth of this story?

"Refuge" Picture Book

This year, we focus on the Gospel of Matthew. The picture book “Refuge” by Anne Booth and Sam Usher, tells Matthew’s Nativity story, including the Holy family fleeing to Egypt. The story  is based on Matthew 2:13-15,19-23, which we read today, January 5, as a faith community.
Finding a copy. “Refuge” is readily available for borrowing. For those in the Twin Cities, grab one sitting outside my office or put one on hold from the Hennepin County Library, who has electronic and hard back versions.
Bonus Christmas Song & Bonus Books!
Matthew’s story put to song “Refugee King” by Liz Vice. This is my Christmas ear worm.
Christmas and Epiphany are short seasons with an abundance of books. If you can’t get enough, here are some others I suggest:
Nativity” by Cynthia Rylant
Mary’s Song” by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Father and Son: A Nativity Story” by Geraldine McCaughrean and Fabian Negrin
Wishing you light this Epiphany.