We’re all familiar with the Christmas story, but do you know the ‘story behind the story?'
Tucked away in the Bible, hundreds of years before Mary, Joseph and the birth of Jesus, is the story of a girl called Ruth. It's a story that rings true to our world — a story of sadness and tears, even of death, but also a story of where hope can be found in the darkest places. A story that points us forward to the promise of a king.
Finding Hope Under Bethlehem Skies takes us on an Advent journey through 25 daily reflections. Each day has a short devotion, a suggested prayer and links to a response song. Come along to Bethlehem and discover the hope that shines brightly even on the darkest of nights.
Praise for the book:
"This little book is a gem! Engagingly written and sparkling with fresh insights into the biblical text, it led me to worship the great God who works all things for our good and his glory. Read it together with your church this Christmas. It will stoke your wonder and worship."
- Stephen Witmer, Pastor, Pepperell Christian Fellowship, Massachusetts and author, Eternity Changes Everything and A Big Gospel in Small Places
"The book of Ruth is laid out before us like a Christmas tapestry. Read of God's love, his care and his providential plans to bring the joy to your Christmas."
- Ed Drew, Director, Faith in Kids
"Finding Hope Under Bethlehem Skies is a beautifully woven book of reflections that captivatingly leads the reader through the book of Ruth while simultaneously illuminating the wonderfully familiar story of the birth of Jesus. Searching for hope through these reflections is a creative, refreshing, and poignant way to journey through advent in preparation for Christmas. Written for a broken and suffering world longing for hope and yearning for advent people to rejoice once again in the hope that is found under the Bethlehem skies. These reflections will help you to find comfort in the covenant love of God and wonder anew at the Christ child’s birth this advent time."
- Mel Lacy, Executive Director, Growing Young Disciples, and author, New City Catechism Curriculum
"Hope. Such an important part of human existence and so central to the Christian faith. Yet hope is easily eroded, and sadly sometimes lost in the ups and downs of life. Robin guides us through an ancient story to the one who brings hope to all human kind with the craftsmanship of a Bible teacher, the creativity of an artist, and the concern of a pastor. What a great book to invite our congregations to read through Advent to encounter afresh the giver of hope."
- James Lawrence, CPAS Leadership Principal and author of Growing Leaders
"It's a joy to journey through the book of Ruth with these perceptive and illuminating devotions. They - and the songs that go with them - provide a fresh set of lenses through which to see the unfolding history to the birth of our Saviour. Recommended!"
- James Robson, Ministry Director, Keswick Ministries
"A beautifully crafted devotional that opens up the Christmas narrative in a fresh way, no matter how many times you have heard the story. The interweaving of Ruth’s journey and the creative use of music and wordplay is genius. Take hold of these reflections, and allow them to take hold of you as we seek to know Jesus and make him known in a world that desperately needs hope at this time."
- Phil Knox, Head of Mission to Young Adults, Evangelical Alliance UK, and author of Story Bearer
"These are beautiful and inspiring devotions to help focus our thinking and praying during Advent. Exploring the wonderful story of Ruth leads us again to the greatest story of all – the story of God coming to be with us in Jesus Christ."
- Rt Revd Dr Emma Ineson, Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
"Part of the message of Christmas is that God offers hope to ordinary people, in surprising places, in the darkest of times. It is a message our culture desperately needs. Robin Ham takes us back to a treasured Old Testament adventure to show us, in bitesize daily chunks, how God specialises in turning tragedy into triumph. Uniquely, he points us to contemporary worship songs to remind us of the daily truths that he unwraps through the advent season too. Prepare to be encouraged by a devotional that brings hope down to earth."
- Dr Jason Roach, Pastor of The Bridge Battersea; Board Member, The Co-Mission Initiative; and Advisor to the Bishop of London
"The Christmas story is so familiar to us that we sometimes find it hard to see and appreciate its wonder afresh each year. This Advent devotional is a refreshingly different way to view the coming of Jesus through the lens of the book of Ruth. Clear explanations showing how Jesus is the climax of God’s love and redemption will engage your mind and heart. Challenging application questions will help you apply these truths to your life. Suggested songs will move you to praise and worship. Far from being stale and samey, this devotional will bring Advent alive in a new way that will do good to your soul."
- John Stevens, National Director, Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches UK (FIEC)