Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas
Written by Adam Hamilton

“The doctrine of the Incarnation represents one of the foundational, and some might say scandalous, claims of the Christian faith: namely, that the God who created all that is, who sustains the universe by his power, came to us in Jesus. He did not simply inspire Jesus or speak through Jesus as he might inspire or speak through people today. No, Incarnation claims that God actually became flesh in Jesus.”
– Adam Hamilton, Incarnation, p. 9.

In Advent in 2021, Presbyterians across the country are invited to join a book study on Adam Hamilton’s Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (2020).

Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas

How God became human in the Christ child of Bethlehem is a mystery. It is difficult to understand and harder to explain. Theologians use complex technical language in attempts to describe what surpasses and frustrates our language and understanding. In this book, Adam Hamilton explores the why and to what end questions of the Incarnation: Why would God come to us in Jesus? What was the purpose of the Incarnation? How are we meant to respond to the Incarnation, to God’s coming to us in Jesus, today?

Each chapter of the book considers one or more of the names or titles used by the gospel writers as they introduce the story of Jesus: Lord, Messiah, Saviour, Emmanuel, Light of the Word and Word Made Flesh. As Adam Hamilton explores these titles for Jesus, he invites readers to reflect on the significance of Jesus’ incarnation to our lives and world today. Written during the COVID-19 pandemic, this book speaks to the experience of contemporary Christians as we reflect on the world-changing significance of the child we celebrate at Christmas.

Study Guide

The Presbyterian Church in Canada has created weekly study guides to go with the book study that includes questions, prayer suggestions and a recommended spiritual practice. Click the blue buttons below to download each file.

Introduction
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Incarnation book cover
Register for Updates

How to Take Part

Start gathering interest in your congregation to journey together through the book. There are three ways people can take part in Presbyterians Read:

  1. Solo—Get a copy of Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas and read a chapter per week during Advent.
  2. Small Group—Start or join a small group of people to work through the study guides by meeting (online or in-person) to discuss what they’ve read once a week;
  3. Online in our Facebook Group—Join the discussion with other Presbyterians in our Facebook study group. All are welcome to join. The group is private and only the members in the group can see who’s in the group and what they post. Join the group here .

About Adam Hamilton

The Rev. Adam Hamilton is the senior pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. He writes and teaches on life’s tough questions, the doubts with which we all wrestle, and the challenging issues we face today. He has a passion for helping Christians grow in their faith, understanding of the Bible, and Christian living. Hamilton is a prolific writer with several best-selling and award-winning books, including The Journey, The Way, 24 Hours that Changed the World, When Christians Get it Wrong, and Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White.

We are open to suggestions about other materials that may be helpful to you or your congregation as we engage in this book study. If you have any ideas or questions about Presbyterians Read, please email Emily Hill or call 1-800-619-7301, ext. 271.

Purchasing the Book

Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas is available from major online booksellers as well as local bookshops. If purchasing locally, you may need to ask your local bookseller to order it in, so speak with them early. It comes in multiple formations, including large print, audiobook and eBook.

Supply chain issues due to the pandemic have affected the book industry. If you want a physical copy of the book, be sure to order early so that you have it in time for Advent.

Previous Materials

Image of arrow pointing downLent 2021 Study Guide Introduction
Image of arrow pointing downLent 2021 Study Guide Week 1
Image of arrow pointing downLent 2021 Study Guide Week 2
Image of arrow pointing downLent 2021 Study Guide Week 3
Image of arrow pointing downLent 2021 Study Guide Week 4
Image of arrow pointing downLent 2021 Study Guide Week 5
Image of arrow pointing downLent 2021 Study Guide Week 6

Presbyterians Read Lent 2021 Introductory Webinar

In this webinar, Emily Hill—Education Program Coordinator for The Presbyterian Church in Canada—introduces the book for the Presbyterians Read Lent 2021 book study: Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine.

She also discusses how leaders can use the resources supplied to facilitate weekly discussion groups about the book.

Watch video
Image of arrow pointing downIntroduction – Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downFirst Week of Advent
Image of arrow pointing downSecond Week of Advent
Image of arrow pointing downThird Week of Advent
Image of arrow pointing downFourth Week of Advent
Image of arrow pointing downComplete Advent 2020 Book Study Guide

Facilitator: Emily Hill, Education Program Coordinator
Host: Canadian Ministries

Description:

Advent began Sunday, December 1, 2020. Many people were seeking ways to make this Christ-centered time. The short but impactful devotions in that year’s Presbyterians Read book, Celebrating Abundance by Walter Brueggemann, helped to create a healthy rhythm of spiritual reflection throughout the season. In this webinar, Emily Hill, Christian Education Coordinator for Canadian Ministries, introduced the book and discussed how small group leaders can use the study guide she created to facilitate weekly discussion groups about the book. Whether you have already organized a small group or are thinking about starting one, please join us!

Watch the webinar

View webinar
Image of arrow pointing downWeek 1 - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downWeek 2 - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downWeek 3 - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downWeek 4 - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downWeek 5 - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downHoly Week – Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downEaster Week – Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downAsh Wednesday Week - Presbyterians Read

Facilitator: Emily Hill, Education Program Coordinator
Host: Canadian Ministries

Description:

In Lent 2020, Presbyterians across the country were invited to join a denomination-wide book study on N.T. Wright’s Lent for Everyone, Matthew, Year A. Using thoughtfully prepared weekly study guides, Presbyterians journeyed through Lent reflecting on what it means to be kingdom-people who participate in the new life that Jesus has brought.

In this webinar, Emily Hill, Christian Education Coordinator for Canadian Ministries, introduced the book and discussed how small group leaders can use the study guide she created to facilitate weekly discussion groups about the book. Whether you have already organized a small group or are thinking about starting one, please join us!

Watch the webinar

View webinar
Image of arrow pointing downSpiritual Practices
Image of arrow pointing downIntroduction - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downAsh Wednesday Week - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downWeek 1 - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downWeek 2 - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downWeek 3 - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downWeek 4 - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downWeek 5 - Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downHoly Week – Presbyterians Read
Image of arrow pointing downEaster Week – Presbyterians Read