Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Children's books are fun to read A new one coming out May 20 is about Pentecost. Many children have no idea what that word Pentecost means. Some grown-ups don't either. So Paraclete Press in Brewster, MA decided to help those who care about mysterious words they don't know, but are eager to learn.

This book is called The Day When God Made Church and the subtitle is A Child's First Book About Pentecost. Children won't know the word Pentecost until someone shows or explains it to them. The person who wrote this book is Ms. Rebekah and the person who drew all the pictures is Ms. Stephanie They made a wonderful book for children to read or see or hear.

It begins with telling that Jesus, God's Son, is gone. Where did he go and why, and when will he come back, or who will he send? Those who are waiting are nervous and curious and eager to know who Jesus will send to them. After awhile, the animals become excited, the people are eager, and suddenly they hear words! The Holy Spirit has arrived! And who is that?

Peter arrives and stands up to preach and he tells the people how Jesus loves them, how Jesus healed some of the people, and how he told stories and shared good news with them, too. Then Peter tells them of how Jesus was hung on the cross and he died. All the people who loved Jesus were sad. But Jesus did come back!

God, his Father, raised him from the dead and gave New Life to him and to all who believe in Jesus. Peter tells them that God sends the Holy Spirit, good news, baptism, and we are a new family together. We call that the Day of Pentecost, "the day when church was born." It is for men and women, boys and girls, and for all those who are filled with the Holy Spirit, for all who "are Alive and Risen, as we worship Jesus."

loissibley@ireviewreligiousbks

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Children's Guide to Lent and Easter

Here it is: Make Room, and it's not only beautifully illustrated but also clearly written and Kids who read this book are going to Know and they won't forget it. Author Laura Alary has a plan. She begins with what Lent and Easter are all about: how it tells the stories of Jesus, how we all are reminded of these stories in our families, churches, and friends, and how Jesus' stories might fit into our lives and theirs as we grow and remember what we are learning. Published by Paraclete Press, and illustrated by Ann Bovajian, it is a pleasure to read and think about how these stories might fit into kids' lives.

They begin with three about Jesus: Making Time, Space, Room and then about Holy Week. Readers will learn that Jesus is the Son of God, and what he did and why. Readers will be encouraged to "make time to be with God" during Lent. They will find that many people came to hear Jesus and to ask him questions, some expressing desire for healing. And in our own day, people are listening and hearing and growing into the kind of people Jesus wants them to be as we wait for the day when the Kingdom of God comes and Jesus is known as Lord of All.  He also taught the people how to pray what we call "The Lord's Prayer." He taught them to be kind to all, not just the ones they like, and to help those who need help.

Author Alary reminds us that when the 40 days of Lent come, usually in March or April, people tend to make their lives more simple. They are learning what the Lord wants them to do and they get ready for Holy Week, which comes at the end of the 40 days. The people who lived long ago, with God and his kings and prophets heard about the Kingdom of God and that they would live there with God some day.  Those people were reminded that they were once slaves in Egypt, but now they should remember how God saved them and what he wants them to do next. Now-a-days kids hear about Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday and wonder what that's all about. They may hear about the Last Supper (Jesus with his disciples) and how he knelt down and washed their dusty feet,

Friday is the hardest day to read about and to know what happened to Jesus. He was mistreated and hanged on the Cross. Very painful to watch for those who loved him. But then, as he promised, after three days Jesus rose from the dead. Our Heavenly Father, God and the Holy Spirit prepared him for it. On a special day, called Easter, the people come to church to pray and to worship and to thank God together. The people call "Hallelujah," "Jesus is risen... the Lord is risen indeed." And God has "done A WONDERFUL thing." Thanks be to God! May many children read this book.

Lois Sibley, ireviewreligousbks.com