The Making of the Lamb
By: Rober Harley Bear
As we approach the holiday season of Christmas one new book in particular caught my eye. It was Robert Harley Bear’s The Making of the Lamb which is a fictional tale based in plausible history and supposition about the story of Jesus Christ between the age of twelve and the years when he began his ministry. These years are a mystery and are missing not only from the Bible but other texts on the life and story of Jesus Christ. Many scholars have tried to track down his movements and what the Son of God might have been doing during these years but Robert Harley Bear has been able to artfully craft a fictional story about these very formative years during Christ’s life and what He may have been doing. Normally I am not one to pick up fictional works about or encompassing my religion but something about this book intrigued me, especially being so close to the date when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
In The Making of the Lamb Bear supposes that Jesus is taken at His mother’s request by his uncle Joseph to Britain on his trading expeditions to get Jesus away from the Pharisees who view his interpretation of the gospels as heretical. It is during his years that Bear supposes Jesus first begins to hear His Heavenly Father speak to Him and reveal His divine nature as well as his destiny. To me this story is ironic as the timing for the Celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ is December 25th – a former pagan feast day. The Church moved the celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ to this winter feast to make it easier for the pagans to convert to Christianity – Jesus would have actually been born in the Spring time. In The Making of the Lamb Jesus is instructed to learn from the pagans, even the druids about their gods and beliefs as He might be able to learn from them. In this story Jesus learns much during these years and even begins to acquire some of his most famous parables which He will bring back to Judea with Him and use to teach the Jews more about their faith and their God.
The Making of the Lamb was an interesting read. Bear is a talented story teller and was able to weave an artful tale full of adventure and lessons to be learned. It was different to read something known to be fictional about our Lord when it at the same time it is oddly comforting to hear a more personal side and voice of the one who sacrificed Himself for our sake. As Christians approach the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh this was a thought provoking and challenging read. It has posed more questions than it has provided answers but in my humble opinion that is what makes it a good read. We cannot pretend to have all of the answers about our faith. After all, the point of our time on Earth is to grow and learn while we prepare ourselves to face our Creator. This book would make a good gift for those who are open to exploring different possibilities about the life of Jesus Christ. It is a good challenge for those who are not. As a Catholic student I have always believed in challenging what I have been taught – and in doing so when the answer comes back around to that which was first told to me, I am able to believe it more strongly, more fervently. So while I am not sure that this story is actually possible I believe that my faith is stronger for having read it.