- Gods plan to remember – celebrations – church services –relational discipleship groups
- The world can cause us to get distracted and end up in the fog of forgetfulness
- Our hope – get the meaning out of Christmas that is provided – for all you can squeeze out of it
- God reveals in the scriptural Christmas story –_____________________________–that He wants to be with us. But He reveals that in a way that gives us a choice—
- John connects the Christmas story to the beginning and the end –Genesis and Revelation—Alpha— Omega
John 1:1–5 (NIV) John 1:14 (NIV)
Part 2: The Christmas story reveals ______________________________
- Remember that many missed the importance of the event
- People still miss the most important things today –
Luke and Matthew give us the details –the story line
1st God starts with small things –those who are faithful and builds something from that
- A little country – little people – Mary and Joseph –Zechariah and Elizabeth
- Adam and Eve – two people to expansion
- Abraham – one man no children
- Moses – a slave’s son –later a shepherd
- David – a shepherd
- Joseph –from a small group of people
2nd He uses insignificant people and places –those others wouldn’t choose
- Israel in the whole scope of the world was tiny and unimportant
- Mary and Joseph –from Nazareth—a carpenter
- A stable for a birth
- Their qualifications –they said yes when they were invited
3rd He is able to work in the world and accomplish His purpose even when evil seems to thrive
Micah 5:2 (NIV) — 2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Luke 2:2–4 (NIV) Proverbs 21:1 (NIV)
4th He works in and through humility –Gods victory came through humility –ours comes the same way too
The God who maneuvered Caesar also maneuvered Inn keepers
Born into a stable
5th He works over time –small and growing through time and relationship
- Over generations and large time spans
- Through ups and downs
- Not through armies or with money and power
- This requires that we live by faith
- Via messages from of old –prophecy
- God does miracles but when He did it wasn’t all the time and the ultimate good was for the future not for the present
- The eternal promise is for all of us but the worldly promise comes to fulfillment over time
- Time is Gods tool – its often our human enemy
People miss it because it takes faith to believe in something you can’t immediately see
All of this makes it possible for us to forget and even miss what God is doing in the present and therefore miss what He has promised to do in the future
2 Peter 3:3–14 (NIV)
6th He works by invitation to trust Him –faith without knowing all the details
A. He invited Mary via the angel – Let it be as you say—I am the Lords handmade
B. He invited the Wise men via the scriptures and the star
Numbers 24:17–19 (NIV) He invited Jerusalem and Herod via the star and the wise men and the scriptures
C. He invited the Shepherds via the angels
Jesus was destined to reveal the hearts of humans –trust or not –light or darkness
Luke 2:25–35 (NIV) John 3:19–21 (NLT)
For Small Group Discussion:
Opening Question: What is something that you’ve heard about and really wanted to go and see? OR When in your life have you been the most scared?
Main Point: God works personally and relationally in each one of us. The message of the Christmas season is the celebration of “God With Us”.
Read/Tell the Story: Luke 2:8-20
- What was the first thing the angels said to the shepherds? Why do you think they led with that?
- Why do you think angels appeared to shepherds out in the field, who seemingly had nothing to do with the story of Jesus?
- How did the shepherd’s confirmation about who Jesus is bring comfort to Mary?
- When was the last time you got to be a part of something significant or amazing?
- Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”. What are some of your most treasured memories?
- Has there ever been a time in your life when you can say you felt God’s presence? (“God With Us”) How do you remember and honor the ways God has worked in your life?
- As the shepherds returned to their work, they glorified and praised God for all He had done. How do you give glory to God during the Christmas season?
Supporting Scripture: Psalm 148:1-2, Matthew 1:23, John 3:16-17