Not a Silent Night Leader Guide: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem (Not a Silent Night Advent) Paperback – 16 Sep 2014
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About the Author
Adam Hamilton is the founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. Started in 1990 with four people, the church has grown to become the largest United Methodist Church in the United States with over 18,000 members. The church is well known for connecting with agnostics, skeptics, and spiritual seekers. In 2012, it was recognized as the most influential mainline church in America, and Hamilton was asked by the White House to deliver the sermon at the Obama inaugural prayer service. Hamilton, whose theological training includes an undergraduate degree from Oral Roberts University and a graduate degree from Southern Methodist University where he was honored for his work in social ethics, is the author of nineteen books. He has been married to his wife, LaVon, for thirty-one years and has two adult daughters.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book is a different look at Advent, beginning with Mary standing at the foot of the cross. As mothers, all of us in the class can empathize with what must have been her most horrific day. She's looking back on the last 33 years of her life, to the highs and lows of being Jesus' mother. Each week we go back farther, from the cross to re-living Joseph's and her horror at losing their 12-year-old son on the way back to Nazareth, their joy at finding him three days later in the Temple in Jerusalem; further back to her first visit by Gabriel, telling her she's been chosen by God to become Jesus' mother; to finally the Birth in Bethlehem.
Personally, I never questioned the Gospel accounts of Jesus' birth but only recently wondered how the writers would know about the unplanned pregnancy, the Star, shepherds and Magi. How would they know about the young Jesus teaching in the Temple and everything else about his life prior to beginning his ministry?
Dr Hamilton posits that Mary would have talked about him to his Disciples, following his death, and for the rest of her life, to everyone she met. For those of us who have experienced a death, whether a close relative or a sometime friend, when we get together after the service we talk about that person, we tell stories of our relationship with him or her. And if it's a really close friend, the stories are likely retold for years. We have very few accounts in the Bible of Jesus' life as a child. Luke only chose a few but they're all more significant to me now that I've realized Mary had to have told them after her son's death.
The leader guide is just as well-written as the book. It has a lot of information and really good, deep questions that hopefully will allow each of us in the study to grow beyond ourselves. I'm also using the DVD and would recommend it if you're going to lead a class. It's a fair amount of money to spend if you're just reading the book on your own and you won't necessarily need it. But I like Dr Hamilton's sermons and the intros to each chapter are taken directly from his weekly worship services.
Having participated as a student in another Hamilton study, I knew I'd like his intros for this class and believed the students would also. I was right.