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The Journey: A Season of Reflections: Walking the Road to Bethlehem

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  596 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Take a Christmas break and sit down with pastor and best-selling author Adam Hamilton as he guides you through a four-week devotional based on the most joyous event in history. Created for individual use or as a companion to the primary book, The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem, you’ll find short, reflective devotions combined with Scripture readings and heartfelt p ...more
Kindle Edition, 160 pages
Published (first published January 2nd 1900)
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Oct 20, 2014 Wanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-book, religion
I just completed a Bible study on this very informative book. The journey begins in Nazareth, where Mary learns that she was chosen to bring Christ into the world, and continues to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.

But Bethlehem was not the end of this story. The journey continues from Bethlehem and then on to Calvary. Our lives are full of difficult journeys, but Scripture tells us that God will walk with us on these journeys and bring good from them. And these difficult journeys will never be t
Nov 14, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rather enjoyed this book. True, there is so,ex speculation involved, but it seems reasonable to me and I actually liked some of the parallels the author drew between what Mary and Joseph might have been going through to weathering your own hardship. And he always drew it back to scripture.
Mar 29, 2013 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With particular emphasis on cultural and geographical details that we typically don't get in the Nativity Narrative, United Methodist Pastor Adam Hamilton, who researched and lived this book in the Holy Land, walks his readers through the Christmas texts in Matthew's and Luke's gospels; he doesn't shortchange us on Hebrew Bible background and antecedents either!

In five chapters―Mary of Nazareth, Joseph of Bethlehem, Mary's Visit to Elizabeth, From Nazareth to Bethlehem, and The Manger―the author
This really is a fabulous book to read while preparing to celebrate Christmas; I was enlightened. The page count and format tuck nicely into the busyness of the season; easily read during quiet time - the key for me was to start this book at the beginning of the Advent season in order to slowly and purposefully make my way through The Journey. For those who are more scholarly than I, or more aware of the details of the times when Christ was born may not gain any new insights through reading this ...more
David Orphal
I would imagine that even non-Christian Americans who grew up with the songs and stories of the manger in Bethlehem might enjoy how this book takes a more realistic look at the Christmas story. In Hamilton's words, it was definitely NOT a silent night!

Hamilton examines elements that were very new for me. For example, I never really dug deeply into what Mary was risking in saying "Yes" to God. She risked being killed for being unfaithful to Joseph, her betrothed. I never imagined before reading a
Dec 25, 2014 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We used this book during Advent this year as a Bible study. I was only able to attend one of the sessions so I read it on my own. In the book we read the typical Bible verses about the story of Jesus' birth but Mr. Hamilton also includes current day stories that make you reflect on how these verses affect your life now. I found it to be a very moving and thought provoking book. There are not many books that I would pick up and read again because I have so many on my "to read" list that I haven't ...more
Jeff Bobin
Jan 04, 2015 Jeff Bobin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advent-christmas
This will make you reflect on the story of the Christmas and maybe challenge some of the traditions and assumptions you have made a part of the story.

There is a lot of good information here that can be used with the video for good discussion in a small group. Some of what is presented as fact is really the authors opinion so some care must be taken.

I recommend this for small group or supplemental study of the Christmas story.
Apr 03, 2015 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, theology
Good ol' Adam Hamilton. He just doesn't stop producing solid, accessible, meaningful studies. This one helped my class and me to learn about some of the historical facts of Jesus' birth, as well as the implications for our faith today. He really hits hard the point that God chose poverty, a tiny town instead of a metropolis, a humble family. Which we all need to be reminded of every so often.
Elaine Dowling
I would have enjoyed this book if it had been a first century travelogue of the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, or if it had been a well researched what might things have been like for Joseph and Mary, what do we know, not know and what are the likely guesses, or I would have enjoyed a let me tell you what I suppose about the Christmas story. Instead this book was none of the above. Well, it was kind of the last option. It really is the author's supposition of things, but he wants you to think ...more
Nov 23, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't really read that many religious books besides The Bible, my book of saints sporadically, and whatever my Bible study is reading (if anything), but this book caught my attention when I was at Berean. I'm really glad I read it as it is very well-written. Mr. Hamilton describes in detail what life would have been like for Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, etc. and points out some significant aspects of the story that I'd never really contemplated. I also really liked the lessons we can learn fro ...more
While I commend Adam Hamilton on his thorough research and vivid descriptions of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I didn't necessarily find this book to offer any new historic and cultural viewpoints of the people and scripturally-based events in the days prior to Christ's birth. Knowing that his current church, The Church of the Resurrection of Leawood, KS, does have a remarkable way of inviting huge masses to Candle Light Christmas Eve services, the details of the journey of Mary and Joseph fr ...more
Steve Campbell
Dec 24, 2016 Steve Campbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book provides some insightful and moving reflections on the Christmas story. The only thing I have against it is a relatively minor one. I read this along with Hamilton's companion book . A significant amount of the companion book is repeated in this book of reflections, with some alteration in wording. At the end of each chapter in the companion book Hamilton includes an entire reflection from this book, which means that there is some overlap. I believe there is enough original material in ...more
Nov 19, 2012 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My church is going through this book/video series for our Advent season this year. Adam Hamilton has done a great job at presenting his love for the subject, his well done research, and the discoveries he made during his own travels through the region. And sure, there are a couple details in the book that our sermons will challenge a little bit (by asking additional questions), but overall it's a great springboard into re-discovering the real story of Christmas. I think this book will help many ...more
Dec 31, 2012 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this over the advent season as part of a Bible study group and loved it! I learned so much about the culture and community of the time of the birth of Christ that gave me an understanding and appreciation I would probably never have had otherwise. The Journey both helped me focus on the true meaning of Christmas this year and also provided me with a deeper appreciation of Jesus's birth. My worship at Christmas and throughout the year has become more personal, fulfilling, and meaningful as ...more
Gail Longton Harper
Hamilton talked about what we know is true about the birth of Jesus and what we don't know. I would have very much liked to have learned how he came to his assumptions. Because of this, I felt that "The Journey" lacked the impact that "24 Hours" had. Dispite this complaint, there were some wonderful, thought provoking, concepts presented. My favorite was when he asked readers to consider who their Elizabeths are. This was especially poignant as I am currently visiting an older, wiser and calmer ...more
Pathway Midland
Dec 08, 2012 Pathway Midland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great advent devotional as you prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. It walks the reader through the Christmas story bit by bit. This book contains 28 readings that can be done in about 5 to 10 minutes. These short devotionals are challenging, but they also explain more about the Christmas story. They are engaging and help the reader focus on the true meaning of the season - the birth of Christ. This might be best read with the author's other work, "The Journey: Walking the Road to ...more
I was surprisingly refreshed by this one. Hamilton presents great reflections for the story of Jesus' birth. I loved that he used insights from his tour of the Holy Land. The geographical and NT background references brought a depth that I didn't see before in the story. The chapter about Mary's visit to Elizabeth was strong and very meaningful. If you are a looking for something new and different to take you through the season of Advent I would recommend this book.
Mark Lacy
Nov 21, 2013 Mark Lacy rated it really liked it
What I liked most about how the author handled this story was the way he took what we already know and went deeper. What must it have been like, for example, for Joseph and Mary to travel to Bethlehem? What was their likely route, given not only the geography, but also the relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans, since the shortest route for Joseph and Mary would've been through Samaria? A nice read before Christmas, and a good book for a small group (as we did it).
Jan 17, 2013 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christmas adult study 2011. Puts a whole different perspective on Mary and her trip to Bethlehem. The study also had author video segments which showed scenes of the route and hardships Mary went through just to make it to the stable where Jesus was born. Short, simple, but deep. A wonderful story to read anytime of the year!
Fantastic examination of Christ's birth. He goes through each point of view to the Christmas story: Joseph's, Mary's, the shepherds, and the magi's. This would make a great guide to take with you for suggestions if going to the Holy Land [because it talks about where certain events were mostly likely to have occurred.]
Jan Mcleod
Dec 22, 2014 Jan Mcleod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book and its writer are amazing! Hamilton explains the birth of Jesus in a fresh way with insight gleaned from history, Bible scholars, archeology, and personal reflections after walking the Holy land several times.
This is a MUST for any christian who wants a deeper understanding of the birth of Jesus and its significance.
Leslie Godfrey
Dec 02, 2013 Leslie Godfrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book paints a different and truer picture of the road that Mary and Joseph traveled during the birth of Christ. Very interesting and thought provoking. Absolutely a different perspective on a much loved Christmas story.
Dec 22, 2014 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I felt the book had far too many suppositions and assumptions in it. Trying to get into the minds of the Mary and Joseph just left me flat. His take on angels also left me feeling uninspired. This book just did not do it for me.
Mrs. Cubby Culbertson
Nov 25, 2011 Mrs. Cubby Culbertson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mrs. Cubby by: Pastor Alice MacKeil
So many new perspectives. It was such a wonderful experience to share with our church family as well as other family and friends. Several nuggets of wisdom that I will carry in my heart, not just at Chirstmas, but always.
We used this in a Bible study during Advent. It was so refreshing and thoughtful to look at the "myth" around and the Advent story and the deeper meaning of this important story in the Christian world.
Michael Morris
Dec 09, 2014 Michael Morris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though there is a little more speculation here for my taste, and there are times the prose is a bit dry (read: academic), this is a really fine combination of history, archeology, geography, and meditation on the story of Jesus' birth and the events leading up to it.
Jan Fall
Jan 02, 2016 Jan Fall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful, thoughtful reflections of the journey from annunciation to birth in a manger. Each chapter delves into the Biblical history and raises questions about all the key players. Easy, fast read. Read it with someone you can share thoughts.
Jan 20, 2016 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent perspective of the journey to Bethlehem. Hamilton ask us to hear scripture in light to the time and culture before Jesus' birth. The study complete with video introduces you to Israel today including significant holy sites.
Dec 23, 2011 Sadie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, 2011
This is a great accessible book for anyone wanting to take a closer look at the Birth Narrative of Jesus. This book can be read on it's own but also lends itself to class and discussion. I used it in collaboration with my sermons during Advent 2011.
Ceci Marlow
Amazing! Made me think about so many things I'd never considered--Joseph's age, what Joseph's choice meant for Mary, the timing of it all, the importance of the Wise Men as Gentiles. Excellent Advent or anytime study.
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Rev. Adam Hamilton is the founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. He grew up in the Kansas City area. He earned a B.A. degree in Pastoral Ministry from Oral Roberts University and a Master of Divinity Degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.

The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection has grown from four people in 19
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