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Distractions

Distractions

The Birth of Jesus Christ
    Luke 2:1-20 (ESV)

1“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”

Comparing Birth Stories
John the Baptist
Luke 1:57-58 (ESV) 57Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
Jesus the Christ
Luke 2:6-8 (ESV) 6And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
There was brokenness within Jesus’ family, too!
  • Jesus’ stepdad was going to break off the engagement with his teenage fiancé due to her being pregnant by someone other than him. (Matthew 1:19)
  • Jesus’ brothers didn’t believe in Him.(John7:5)
  • Jesus’ family though the was crazy.(Mark3:21)
  • Jesus was accused of being born outside of wedlock over 30 years later.(John8:41)

The Fruits Of Cultural Christmas Flesh Versus The Fruits Of The True Christmas Spirit

Galatians 5:16-26 (ESV and [PLV]) 16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19[Now the works of Cultural Christmas flesh are evident: impatience, greed, lust, 20bah-humbug-ness, being consumed, frustration, irritation, discouragement, depression, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, and things like these … 22But the fruit of the True Christmas Spirit] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Application Questions: Person, Family, Life Groups 

  1. There is a lot of good and fun around Christmas. Then, there are things that just add to the noise, chaos, and distractions. What’s something that you can do or are doing to lessen the distractions this season?
  2. All of us will be affected by relationships one way or another this Christmas. How do you add to the pressure of Christmas (i.e. expectations of others) for others around you? What do you think you should do about that?
  3. According to Jesus, family is much bigger than just blood (Matthew 12:50), and the church is much bigger than just attending a church service (Acts). How are you making room for your church family this Christmas season?
  4. From the manger environment there was filth, smells, and other unpleasant things… yet this is exactly where and what the Father chose for Jesus’ miraculous coming. This Christmas season, are you more focused on the unpleasant things you don’t like, or are your eyes fixed on the Greater Reason (e.g. Jesus, peace, love, mercy, the Spirit, family, forgiveness)?
  5. How can you be a pleasure for others this Christmas rather than more pressure?

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