This charming devotional book takes readers on an inward journey to the miracle of Christ's birth in the little town of Bethlehem. Many who will read this book probably haven't actually traveled to Bethlehem. "But that is of little consequence to the adventure of arriving there, to the adventure of discovery that awaits the mystery and wonder in the birth of Jesus," Todd Outcalt writes. The devotions are both personal and challenging. "I hope readers can discover something new that they may have overlooked in the old, old story," says Outcalt.
It's important to stay alert on the pilgrimage to Bethlehem, Outcalt reminds readers, for they may encounter Jesus in unexpected moments and surprising people or when they are most tired or confused. "The way to Bethlehem is saturated with stops and starts, with both darkness and light, with angels and the common touch of shepherds," writes Outcalt.
Let Us Go Now to Bethlehem contains devotions for the 28 days of Advent, the 12 days of Christmas, and the day of Epiphany. For small-group leaders, the book includes a 6-week study guide with weekly questions for reflection and conversation, a suggested scripture passage for each week, and an invitation to ponder the happenings of that week. As the Gospel of Luke attests, Let Us Go Now to Bethlehem is both an expectant declaration filled with mystery and a declaration of faith. Each day can offer these same expectations and wonders for readers if they open themselves to awe and joy.
Todd Outcalt is a United Methodist pastor, artist, and author of some 40 books in six languages. He also has been published in The Christian Century, Preaching, Youth Minister, Group, and The Christian Science Monitor. Outcalt has completed the three great pilgrimages of Christendom-Jerusalem, Rome, and the Camino de Santiago. He lives in Brownsburg, Indiana, with his wife, Becky.