© 1996 - 2015 Arnold Ytreeide

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Bartholomew's Passage

The thunder was strange. Usually it came in off the lake they called Galilee. But on this Sabbath afternoon it rolled in from over the town. No matter, thinks ten-year-old Bartholomew. It's been a good day, with new friends and good trades made. Father is home with a good catch, and there's deer meat for dinner. No thunderstorm could ruin such a day!

 

But then Bartholomew discovers that the thunder does not come from the clouds, it comes from the hooves of horses -- Roman horses, carrying Roman soldiers. In minutes, Bartholomew's peaceful town is in chaos, his family is lost, and he himself is taken prisoner.

 

Bartholomew tumbles through the mixed-up days that follow, finding himself the property of a slave owner in Ceasarea. His treatment there is criminal, yet it is he who is sentenced to a terrible punishment -- a punishment which leads him to take desperate measures to escape. Cornered by Roman soldiers, all hope is lost for Bartholomew until a Fool jumps in to rescue him with wit and guile.

 

With the entire Roman Legion tracking them now, Bartholomew and his new friend make passage through a strange and wondrous land, full of strange and wondrous people. Eventually they find themselves the guests of a Persian wise man as his caravan camps along the road of a small town called Bethlehem. The events of that particular night will once again change Bartholomew's life forever -- in ways which he thought were impossible.

 

Softcover, 168 pages, with introductory notes, family devotionals, and ideas for celebrating Advent.