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The Christmas Mystery – Jostein Gaarder

December 19, 2016

tcmOne day Elisabet, while Christmas shopping with her mother, vanishes into thin air. Accompanied by angels, shepherds, kings and even a Roman governor, she is rushing back through time and space to Bethlehem, to be present at the birth of Christ. Fifty years later a boy called Joachim pieces together her story from a magic advent calendar and brings it to a conclusion.

It’s very formulaic but it is a children’s book and children love repetition. However, there are occasional short bursts of description or dialogue.

It’s also very moralising.

The prostitutes are airbrushed out of St. Nicholas’s story.

And here’s as link for those in the know, to Bethlehem as the house of bread.

The translator’s use of ‘after Christ’ is strange, if Christ is still alive.

In the creation story, on the fifth day, God saw that it was good. Very good does not come until the sixth.

Adam and Eve are viewed as literal people.

Advent calendars today tend to be very secular. Maybe this book should have been entitled The Advent Mystery.

It wasn’t as good as Sophie’s World.

tcm-2Quotations:

“To Bethlehem!, To Bethlehem”

“… perhaps the clock hands had become so tired of going in the same direction year after year that they had suddenly begun to go the opposite way instead…”
“But it’s important to be happy about the little you have. However little it is, it’s infinitely more than nothing.”
tcm-3“‘That Jesus came into the world to teach people to be kind to one another. No other lesson is more difficult for a human being to learn, but no other lesson is more important.'”

‘The stars are created by God, too,’ he said. `So studying the stars in the sky can be like a whole church service.

‘There are two ways of becoming wise. One way is to travel out into the world anti to see as much as possible of God’s creation. The other is to put down roots in one spot and to study everything that happens there in as much detail as you can. The trouble is that it’s impossible to do both at the same time.’

and the more we see in things around us, the more we understand. So there will always be something new to discover if we only have our eyes and ears open to the remarkable world we live in.’

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