Is God always good, even in widespread and personal devastation? Is God good when someone is mugged? Is he good when people are scammed and left without their life savings? Is he still good when a family receives news that their unborn child is stillborn? In The Moon is Always Round, author Jonathan Gibson draws the simple analogy between God’s “hidden” goodness and the moon. The moon is always round, though we only see it once a month. Young children don’t understand how the moon orbits the earth as it revolves around the sun, nor that we see the sun’s reflection off the moon. What they know is that the moon is small, then big, then small. (It’s still fascinating even once we do learn this.)
The book takes you through nine months of a family’s life. The mom is becoming increasingly pregnant. The family is taking care to prepare for their second child. Yet there are mysterious hospital visits, sad parents, and other things in which the son, the first child, cannot understand. Yet all throughout the book the father reminds his son that “the moon is round.” God’s faithfulness to his people is sure and steadfast, though it does not mean that evil does not enter our lives.
The book ends with two lessons for children on the moon and Good Friday. The lesson on the moon reiterates the lesson of the book, and the lesson on Good Friday points us back to the cross. Jesus died a despicable death so that our sins could be forgiven. Out of tragedy came salvation for the world. Jonathan explains the backstory for the book and his conversation with his son Ben after their daughter Leila had died. Jonathan had already begun a catechism on the moon with Ben, asking him three questions:
Q: Ben, what shape is the moon tonight?
A: The moon is a crescent moon, or a half-moon, or a gibbous moon, or a full moon.
Q: What shape is the moon always?
A: The moon is always round.
Q: What does that mean?
A: God is always good.
Many children see the dark side of life very early. God is faithful, and in everything that we go through, one of the biggest questions is Will I trust God today? This book will help little minds wrestle with difficult experiences and will help them to see that they can rest in God’s care. The analogy of the moon is something that will stick in their minds as it will in yours too. God was faithful when Jesus died on the cross. And as the divine Son of God was shedding his blood, he was equally reigning as king and reconciling the world to God. His resurrection vindicated him and showed that he was no criminal but was God’s perfect Son. We are not free from pain and suffering now, but Jesus walks with us as we are in union with him. God is faithful, and he will never leave us nor forsake his people.
- Author: Jonathan Gibson
- Illustrator: Joe Hox
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: New Growth Press (September 23, 2019)
Find it on Amazon and New Growth Press!
The author Jonathan Gibson is associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and he contributed to and coedited From Heaven He Came and Sought Her (which I reviewed some time ago). Joe Hox has illustrated all of the Good News for Little Hearts series.
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Disclosure: I received this book free from New Growth Press. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.