It's been a few weeks since I finished Glenn Beck's The Immortal Nicholas. Usually, after I finish a book I blog about it right away. I do this because right after I'm done, the story's fresh in my mind, I can remember many of the details as well as some of the feelings I had while I read it.
But many times, I blog about books I've read because when you write a blog post every day, you've got to find something to fill the digital pages. The reason I didn't blog about this book earlier is because I wanted it to germinate in my mind. Plus, as I read it, terrible things were happening.
Beck's story explains how the legend of Santa Clause and the birth of Jesus can be connected, how a man who lived during the birth and death of Christ became the symbol of Christmas. Beck has done his homework explaining how life could have existed for a father and his son living in Judea at that time. The author not only answers what is frankincense, but why it was considered a treasure fit for a king. We learn of Agios, the man who will become St. Nicholas. We feel his heartaches, his joys, and the loss he experiences. The way the author transforms Agios and then places him in the northern countries was as entertaining as it was creative.
I had an experience while reading (or listening...) this book that I don't believe I've ever had before. As I read the narration of Christ's crucifixion, I was following a breaking news story of a mass shooting as it was taking place in California. As I listened, I checked updates on the tragedy and how the lives of 14 people were extinguished. One side of my brain was hearing how the Son of Man was being executed while my eyes read about the horror of true evil being manifest in our world of today. It brought home the fact that some things have not changed in two thousand years and made the message of the book that much more important and impactful.
I'd like to be one of those people who read a new Christmas story each year, but I've never done it. Maybe this will be the start of a new tradition. I guess it'll take a year to find out. And if it becomes a tradition, this book was a wonderful way to start.
* Photo used without permission from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/26586933-the-immortal-nicholas