Journey To Christmas is a new reality DVD series. The premise is to explore the events surrounding Jesus' birth on the actual location. It is a reality type program that follows a group of 5 people: Drew, a professing Christian who is seeking an encounter with God; Kim, a First Nations young woman who is interested in the tribal aspect of early Judaism; Nazareth, a visual artist who is interested in spirituality, artistry, and connecting with her ancestral heritage; Rory, an agnostic who was raised by a Jewish father and a Catholic mother and sees religion as being a divider of people; and Dusty May, an enthusiastic writer/painter/singer who is unabashedly Christian.
Local historian, Nizar Shaheen, guides the group and there is additional on-camera commentary from a team of Bible experts including astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross, ancient history expert Dr. Paul Maier, archeologist and New Testament scholar Dr. Craig Evans, Biblical times culture expert Claire Pfann, and others. Journey to Christmas lets you immerse yourself in the culture, places, and people surrounding the Nativity. Shot on ultra-high-definition film and packaged as a four-part DVD church curriculum, this is a fascinating look at the culture of 1st century Judaism and the birth of Jesus.
See the Journey To Christmas trailer here.
Although I was wary of anything that proclaimed to be a "reality show format", this was pretty good. I had a genuine interest in the thoughts the individuals shared about their experience and how it was affecting them. There was enough background info for me to connect with each person and get an idea of their point of view. The photography was outstanding and the commentary by the experts was extremely useful in helping to understand what was happening during that time. Quite often several explanations were given, usually with one being singled out as the most likely. I did enjoy looking at these Biblical towns now, but the highlight was the demonstrations of how life would have been at the time of Jesus' birth. The Christmas story was brought to life in a way that made it seem much more real. Too often we may have lofty ideas of the "characters" of the Bible and forget they were flesh and blood people. Drew, Kim, Nazareth, Rory, and Dusty May had the chance to try the ancient garb, foods, and work that was the way of life in 5BC and walked away with a fresh understanding and a new appreciation of life in the Holy Land 2000+ years ago.
To learn more, check out http://journeytochristmas.com/.
In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission: Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this dvd. However, all opinions expressed are my own.