A book review by Becky Holland
Because of Bethlehem – Love is born, hope is here
By Max Lucado
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 13, 2016)
Max Lucado, in his latest book, ‘Because of Bethlehem – Love is born, hope is here,’ goes beyond the normal telling of the Christmas story and Jesus’ birth. He envelopes the concept that God wanted us to absorb and live as a result of Jesus’ birth in 224 pages with grace and integrity.
Who would expect any less of Lucado? Lucado is a conversationalist. This appealing style is evident in his sermons, his lectures and in his reading. As you read or listen, you almost feel as if you are in the “room” and it is a conversation between you and him.
In ‘Because of Bethlehem,’ Lucado details vividly – not by using big 50 cent words or analytical research – through a simple testimony peppered in with scripture why he loves Christmas. He nods at the basic questions some of us have asked during Christmas. What’s the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me? Those questions excite Lucado.
Why? Because of the answers that Lucado shares. God knows what it is like to be a man – to be human. He so understands about financial strife, long lines, tough times. He has been here.
And the answers he’s found give us all hope. God knows what it’s like to be a human. When we talk to him about deadlines or long lines or tough times, he understands. He’s been there. He’s been here. Because of Bethlehem, we have a friend in heaven.
In the book, there are several bold quotes pointed out in larger print. One caught my attention. “Jesus comes not with a list of things for you to do but with a list of things He has already done, and will do. Jesus lifts burdens, but doesn’t add to them.”
“He(Jesus) entered this world not to demand our allegiance but to display His affection.”
Lucado talks about making Christmas a big deal all year round. (Not the gift giving, receiving, Santa part of Christmas.)
A point brought home – “And Christmas begins what Easter celebrates – the child in the cradle became the King on the cross. Because of Bethlehem, we have a Savior in Heaven.”
I highly recommend Mr. Lucado’s Because of Bethlehem. (There are reflection questions in the back of the book.)