Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Gabriel’s Magic Ornament

Gabriel's Magic Ornament , by Randall Bush
(Pristine Publishers, 2002), 110 pages; $11.95

This magical little book, written by my colleague Dr. Randall Bush, has become a Christmas favorite in my family. Dr. Bush has crafted a tale reminiscent of C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia in which the fantasy land is itself the Christmas tree and the characters are the ornaments, all steeped in biblical imagery. Along the way the message of salvation (the true meaning of Christmas) is exposed with a very striking image of human captivity to sin (laboring in the cane fields), the holiness of God (‘He is good and kind … You must take him seriously, though, for he is not to be trifled with.”), and a beautiful description of heaven. Bush makes a clever use of names and symbols and includes a glossary in the back in case you miss the historical and biblical allusions.

The book is also available on CD. We have read the book and listened to it on CD, and my boys regularly ask to hear it again. I think my youngest was four years old when we first read it and he seemed to understand well and enjoy. I warmly commend it to all.



At 7:26 PM, Blogger Adam said...

This is a book that has captured my imagination time and time again in the last few years, and this is coming from a 22-year-old bachelor. If God oneday blesses me with a family of my own, I anticipate that this book will be a Christmas tradition.

While I think Dr. Bush himself is more proud of his novel, Quest for Asdin, I believe that Gabriel's Magic Ornament better captures the imaginative allegory and vivid character development common to classics like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

His chapter in which he compares the American "Santa Claus" tradition to Balaam, Jannes, and Jambres was simply a joy to read and reflect upon. And when St. Nicholas finally shows up, he directs the children to the incomprable Gift that God gave the world. Much like C.S. Lewis' portrayal of the "jolly, old elf," Dr. Bush's St. Nicholas knows that the holiday glory belongs to Christ alone.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Ray Van Neste said...

A good word! Thanks Adam for showing more of the book and its value.


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