Adam Hamilton, pastor of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and author, was introduced to me through a Sunday School study of the lessons found in the resurrection. We used the book 24 Hours That Changed the World and the accompanying DVD study. An additional option that I also read was the devotional of the same name. As a class we spent six weeks watching video clips showing the places that Jesus visited during His last 24 hours of life. We also poured over the study guide discussing the chapters entitled “The Last Supper,” “The Garden of Gethsemane,” “Condemned By the Righteous,” “Jesus, Barabbas, and Pilate,” “The Torture and Humiliation of the King,” and “The Crucifixion.”
Hamilton uses the video to show you the places and objects from Jesus last hours and then the study guide guides the group through questions such as these two from Chapter 2 of the study guide: “How does the Gospels’ portrayal of Jesus’ anguish in the garden of Gethsemane inform or affect your understanding of who Jesus is?” and “What significance do you see in the fact that two of the Bible’s most profound temptation stories take place in a garden?” The author also asked you to imagine that you were the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Barabbas and discuss if you would react the same way. This book was very powerful! It also inspired me to want to read more of Adam Hamilton.
The next book of his that I read was Why? Making Sense of God’s Will. In this book, he discusses the fear and anger many feel when prayers go unanswered, the world feels as though it is spinning out of control, and it seems as if evil has taken up residence in our neighborhoods. Many times we have cried out to God for help and answers asking “Why?” We question why there is evil, why do children have to die, why did our loved ones have to suffer, but most of all we want to know why there is any suffering if we are His children. However, Hamilton shows that God never promised us smooth sailing but He did promise that He would be there. Hamilton also illustrates that though there may be crying at night, there is always joy in the morning. For every story of pain and crying in the Bible, there is also a story of joy in the shelter of God’s love and protection. Another great read by Adam Hamilton.
The following is a listing of other books written by Adam Hamilton that is available through Cokesbury at http://www.cokesbury.com.
When Christians Get it Wrong
Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity
Catch: Attracting and Connecting Visitors
Selling Swimsuits in the Arctic: Seven Simple Keys to Growing Churches
Christianity’s Family Tree: What Other Christians Believe and Why
Confronting the Controversies: Biblical Perspectives on Tough Issues
Making Love Last a Lifetime: Biblical Perspectives on Love, Marriage, and Sex
Christianity and World Religions: Wrestling with Questions People Ask
Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality, and Politics
Variety of Ministry Guides