Sunday, February 21, 2016
The Birth of Jesus
For many, the story of the birth of Jesus has become the “Christmas” story, taking on characteristics and traditions that are not necessarily part of the original. The two stories from Luke are among the earliest descriptions on record of the birth of Jesus. John the apostle, writing years later, tells the story more abstractly and focuses on the meaning of the birth for human history. Read Luke 1:26-38, Luke 2:1-20, and John 1:1-18
What do the writers say is important about the birth of Jesus?
According to the texts, who is Jesus and what is His relationship to God?
In both accounts, how do the different people in each story respond to Jesus?
Most of us are searching for more than an idea to believe in; we are looking for something that works! Try these exercises on your own this week, and see if the Jesus you are reading about is someone who might have the power to impact your life today.
John wrote, “God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.” The birth of Jesus into the world portrays to Christians that God’s love and faithfulness are not just emotions, but actions. This week, try practicing specific actions that demonstrate “unfailing love and faithfulness” to those around you. Is it easy or difficult to treat others this way?
Take some time this week to think about the following questions and how they apply to your own life experience.
What if the story of Jesus is true? What would that mean for my life? For the world?
Why bother wondering? Why is it important to think about this now? What impact could it have on my life to consider these questions? What impact could it have if I choose to put it off?
If you feel comfortable, find a private time and place during your week to say the following words to God. If you have never prayed before, don’t worry about how you say it. Just speak these words:
“God, I am beginning a search for meaning, a journey for answers, and I do not know where it will lead me. My prayer today is that, if you are real, then show yourself to me. If what I am reading is true, then help me to understand what it means for my life. Amen.”
If you want to discover more about the life of Jesus, take some time on your own this week to read these accounts of Jesus’ childhood: Matthew 2:1-13, Luke 2:41-51