Every Sunday morning, we sing and celebrate the birthdays: the toddler clutching three sweaty pennies for the bank, representing his three years of life; the grandfather who contributes a dollar to the bank and jokes about not needing much change. Birthdays are a big deal because people are a big deal to God. So we sing:
“Happy birthday to you,
Only one will not do.
Born again means salvation.
How many have YOU?”
Together, we celebrate birth and new birth–the beginnings that bring us together.
Meadow Rue Merrill has become a celebration resource for young families with her seasonal invitations to Lantern Hill Farm. This time Molly and the family are gathered at Aunt Jenny’s place for a birthday party. Molly sings to Cousin Sammy and makes her own birthday candle wish for another birthday.
The Best Birthday weaves a story around Aunt Jenny’s wise reply that God offers an “even better birthday,” reinforcing the message with a scavenger hunt that makes for fun reading, but also serves as inspiration for party-planning parents.
Best of all, Merrill’s story sets the stage for a discussion of John 1:12:
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
When we’re born into God’s family and receive the gift of his love for our very own, we have every reason to celebrate!
Next month, at my church home, the kids will be gathering in a Sunday School circle to listen to this story on Promotion Sunday. We’ll celebrate ALL the birthdays with a big cake, and come together around the truth that each of us is God’s special treasure, and birthdays are just one more opportunity to celebrate his love!
Many thanks to Hendrickson Publishers for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.
Thankful for my Best Birthday,
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