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Take time to read and reflect on the true Christmas message

Whether you choose to leisurely read a book as part of your personal study or you join a Sunday School class or other small group, take time during the holy season to reflect on the true Christmas message when Love came down for all of us. Photo by Canva.
Whether you choose to leisurely read a book as part of your personal study or you join a Sunday School class or other small group, take time during the holy season to reflect on the true Christmas message when Love came down for all of us. Photo by Canva.

John the Baptist and angels take center stage in new books available for United Methodists to read throughout Advent in preparation for celebrating Jesus’ birth.

Whether you choose to leisurely read a book as part of your personal study or you join a Sunday School class or other small group, take time during the holy season to reflect on the true Christmas message when Love came down for all of us.

"Prepare the Way for the Lord" by Adam Hamilton 

“Prepare the Way for the Lord: Advent and the Message of John the Baptist”

An unlikely character in the Christmas story, John the Baptist, his life and message, are explored in “Prepare the Way for the Lord: Advent and the Message of John the Baptist.” "Prepare the Way for the Lord" is the latest book by the Rev. Adam Hamilton, author and senior pastor at Church of the Resurrection.

“Did you know,” Hamilton asks, “that all four gospels start not with the story of Jesus but with the story of John the Baptist?” Throughout the book and accompanying four-week Advent study, Hamilton reminds us that John the Baptist came “to prepare the way for the Lord, to help people be ready to receive the message of Christ and to receive him himself.”

In addition to the book, a leader guide and DVD/video sessions featuring Hamilton are available.

"The Angels of Christmas" by Susan Robb 

“The Angels of Christmas: Hearing God’s Voice in Advent” 

Readers will take an in depth look at the four angelic visits surrounding the birth of Jesus in the Rev. Susan Robb’s new book, “The Angels of Christmas: Hearing God’s Voice in Advent.”

The Bible tells us that Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds had angel encounters, receiving messages that hold meaning for listeners both then and now. Readers will learn about the history of the angel Gabriel and other angels in the Old Testament and how these angelic appearances give meaning to God’s presence in history and in our lives today.

Robb, an author and recently-retired minister, also is the author of “Seven Words: Listening to Christ from the Cross” and “Called: Hearing and  Responding to God’s Voice.”

A leader guide and DVD are available along with the four-week study book.

 

In addition to the new Abingdon Press releases, a number of previously-published titles from the United Methodist Publishing House catalog remain perennial favorites during the Advent season. Check out more books and studies.

Crystal Caviness, who works for UMC.org at United Methodist Communications, compiled this list of books based on recommendations by staff at United Methodist Publishing House. You may reach her by email.

This article was published on October 19, 2022.