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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.

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adam Hamilton is one of my favorite authors when it comes to books that lend themselves ... 23 Nov. 2014
By Eveline A. Will - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Adam Hamilton is one of my favorite authors when it comes to books that lend themselves to group studies at church. I prefer his first book on Joseph and Mary but this is also a good study.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meaningful Christmas Study 21 Dec. 2014
By A. P. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We just finished this up for our Sunday School Christmas study. I'm the teacher and I liked it, particularly the last lesson. I ordered the student book and teacher's guide, but not the video because we only have about 50 minutes and our class is very discussion oriented, but I regret it. I would have at least liked to watch it myself. The study does not require a ton of preparation and it's not necessary that the class get the book, but several in my class did. It's not a deep, in-depth study, but it puts things into a perspective that you might not have thought about before and it really helped calm and quiet my heart and helped me refocus before Christmas, which is what advent is all about, so I think it achieved its purpose. My class which ranges in age from about 40 - 65 all seemed to enjoy it and several said they were going to adopt some of the things Hamilton said in the last chapter and use them when discussing Christianity with others.
5.0 out of 5 stars Leader Guide Takes A Lot of Pressure Off! 9 Dec. 2014
By Robyn W - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm currently leading an Advent study and we won't be finished until later this month. However, I read the book when I was looking for a study to offer and I can say it's well-written and presents a lot to think about whether a person is in a study or reading on her own. As far as I can tell, the students are enjoying the book and have expressed interest in other Adam Hamilton studies. The leader guide helped me set up the class structure and has presented many more questions and activities than I can use in our two-hour class time. Deciding which to use is often the hardest part for me! Our group is small, just seven students. The questions are so interesting that we haven't had any problem staying on-topic but we don't waste any time because there's so much to talk about.

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.
4.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT SMALL GROUP STUDY 14 Dec. 2014
By Robert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased the DVD, 8 books and a leader's guide for use by our church Life Group as an Advent study. The study provides a thought provoking 5 week Advent study that clearly links Christ's birth and his crucifixion and resurrection together in one story of God's love and grace. The study looks through Mary's eyes at the events surrounding the final years of her life and then moves backward through the crucifixion and resurrection, to the birth of Jesus.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent Bible study and our women's group loved it 14 Dec. 2014
By Michelle Orr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent Bible study and our women's group loved it. This is the fourth study by Adam Hamilton that we have enjoyed and his DVD's and books have blessed both our Christmas and Easter seasons. Merry Christmas!
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