This morning I finished reading Melody Carlson's annual Christmas novel. This one has a funny name (as they usually do)--The Christmas Joy Ride. The story follows an 85 year old woman, Joy, and her neighbor, Miranda, as they travel in a large motorhome decorated for Christmas. They are
I enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book, but then it turned sour on me. The last delivery was so unrealistic. I found myself actually wanting to sit down and rewrite the dialogue between the characters. I had enjoyed the main character for most of the book, but then that disappeared. She was presumptuous and unkind. The ending was extremely unbelievable for me--much more so than the average "tied up in a bow" Christian fiction ending.
What's most interesting to me is what I realized after I finished reading the book. Many Christians talk about how Christ is missing from the season. People try to have joy--without the Lord in their lives. This book emulates that idea. God is mentioned in a crisis moment in the book once. But, that's all I can recall. Joy wants to share Christmas joy--for the sake of Christmas joy--not for Christ's sake. This is how most Christmas movies are. But, I was expecting The Christmas Joy Ride to be a feel good Christmas movie type book--with Jesus in it. It's not. It's missing the point of Christmas Joy.
A very long time ago, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. God gave his one and only son that we might live. At Christmas, we celebrate his birthday--and the enormous, unfathomable gift that He gave us when He sent his son into the world. The truth is that there is no Christmas joy without Jesus Christ.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing for review.