"But on Sunday morning,
when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her,
the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything."
-The Tale of Three Trees, a traditional folktale retold by Angela Elwell Hunt
As Christmas is upon us, I thought I would share a book that was introduced to us this year as a great Christmas read. After reading it, I found that The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt is a wonderful Christmas story, but it does not stop there. It is also a wonderful story to read during the time period between Christmas and Easter, because it does not focus on simply the birth of Jesus. I love that about this book, because God's gift to us of Jesus would not be what it actually is without His death, and I personally find it hard to celebrate His birth without constantly remembering that His life would end, painfully, horrifically, at my expense. It is one of the reasons "Joseph's Lullaby" by MercyMe is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It reminds me that the reason for His birth is enormous.
The story begins explaining that there were three trees at the top of a mountain who had dreams of what they would become "when they grew up." The first tree wishes to be a chest to hold treasure, the second to be a strong ship carrying powerful kings, and the third simply wants to grow so tall that people looking upon it will think of God. The trees do ultimately get their wishes, but in a way that points the reader to God's love through the birth, life and death of Jesus. It is an easy read, and even SC, who is 4 1/2, completely understood exactly what was going on and who the author was referring to. The illustrations by Tim Jonke are soft and beautiful, and accompany the story very well.
I would recommend this book as a read-aloud for the whole family near Christmas, up to Easter, and any time a reminder is needed that God's love changes everything.