Title: Welcome to the Journey
By: Bob Hartman and Raffaella Ligi
Price: Hardback: £9.99
Published by and available from: Lion
Good for: godparents, grandparents, parents and adults with contact with young children being baptised.
Best bit: Delightful repeated refrain: Welcome to the journey!
Worst bit: The traditional Baptism-gift cover hides a much more vibrant book inside – which means some people might miss out, but those who bought it as a traditional Baptism gift will be rewarded with the delicious pictures inside
You can’t go wrong with a story told by the genius storyteller, Bob Hartman. If you’ve ever heard him speak, he’s incredibly humble, but has an incredible gift!
Storytelling is something we don’t do enough of in our culture, despite its power. Like music, stories connect us to each other and to our heritage, giving us language to express important things statistics cannot measure. Stories help us make spiritual meaning and connection.
Anyone else trying to write a simple, easy-to-read story which starts with creation and goes through the whole Bible, including Jesus’ death and resurrection, linking it to baptism would write a terrible story.
But Bob Hartman isn’t able to write terrible stories, so instead, this story is gentle and rhythmic, repeating the phrase: Welcome to the journey, and incorporating baptism in various places to bring connection and meaning.
This is a book a very young child could have read to them, and a primary-age child could read to themselves. Either way, its meaning is clear and easy to follow.
I love the metaphor of faith as a journey, so this ticks a lot of boxes for me!
While some people struggle with non-church goers requesting infant baptisms, for me this book shows how baptism can be the beginning of a faith journey.
I will be sending my copy to a friend who had a baby this week!