"I love The First Christmas. What a charming way Stephen Mitchell has found to tell my favorite story of all, the Nativity, character by character (I love the donkey and the ox), with wise and thrilling interludes about God, reality, truth." -Anne Lamott
In The First Christmas
, Stephen Mitchell brings the Nativity story to vivid life as never before. A narrative that is only sketched out in two Gospels becomes fully realized here with nuanced characters and a setting that reflects the culture of the time. Mitchell has suffused the birth of Jesus with a sense of beauty that will delight and astonish readers.
In this version, we see the world through the eyes of a Whitmanesque ox and a visionary donkey, starry-eyed shepherds and Zen-like wise men, each of them providing a unique perspective on a scene that is, in Western culture, the central symbol for good tidings of great joy. Rather than superimposing later Christian concepts onto the Annunciation and Nativity scenes, he imagines Mary and Joseph experiencing the angelic message as a young Jewish woman and man living in the year 4 bce might have experienced it, with terror, dismay, and ultimate acceptance. In this context, their yes becomes an act of great moral courage.
Readers of every background will be enchanted by this startlingly beautiful reimagining of the Christmas tale.
About the Author
Stephen Mitchell was born in Brooklyn, educated at Amherst, the Sorbonne, and Yale, and de-educated through intensive Zen training. His many books include the bestselling Tao Te Ching, Gilgamesh, The Gospel According to Jesus, The Book of Job, The Second Book of the Tao, The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Bhagavad Gita, The Iliad, The Odyssey, Beowulf, and The Way of Forgiveness. He is also the co-author of three of his wife Byron Katie's bestselling books.