The Race of the Birkenbeiners

One of the best children’s books I’ve read the whole year is about the exciting rescue of an infant who would grow up to be the king of Norway in the Middle Ages. This book is The Race of the Birkenbeiners by Lise Lunge-Larson. The Birkebeiners are brave Norwegian peasants oppressed by a group of nobles. They dress for battle by tying birch bark around their legs. The young prince and his mother are in danger, and two Birkebeiner warriors ski across a treacherous mountain to get them to safety. It’s a story of courage and bravery, fighting for what is right, and believing that God is on your side.

It’s nearly New Years here in Wisconsin. May we remember to race the good race, seeking God’s grace the entire way. Because sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged by the blizzards pounding us from one direction and the enemies chasing us from the other. And even when we think we’ve reached safety, there are still more tests to undergo. The Norwegian prince became a great king who brought much peace to his country. The race of the Birkenbeiners was worth the trouble. The race of the Christian has a wonderful ending as well.

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