Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Twelve Books of Christmas, December 27

My book recommendation for today may seem unusual, as it is not really a Christmas book.  It is a winter story set in the Ukraine, based on an old folk tale.  My recommendation for today is Jan Brett's book, "The Mitten."

It is a lovely, whimsical story about a boy who received a pair of pure white, hand-knitted mittens from his grandmother.  (This is not, by the way, a Christmas present.)  She is worried because a pure white mitten will get lost in the snow.  And that is exactly what happens.

As soon as the boy loses his mitten, a tired mole finds it and takes refuge inside the mitten.  Not long afterwards, a snowshoe rabbit also finds this refuge, and before we know it, there are many animals from the forest inside that mitten, as it stretches to many many times its normal size.

But grandmother's stitches hold.

At the end, of the animal sneezes and all of the animals are released from the mitten, which finds its way home.

But I want to focus on that stretched-out mitten, with all of the animals inside, as a wonderful image of the mystery of the incarnation.

How is it that the great and infinite God became so small, that God could fit inside a new-born baby? It is impossible, just like the folktale.  And yet -- God is with us in this tiny baby.

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