Lesson 139—November 27, 2016
Oh Yeah, Christmas is Supposed to be about Giving
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-2:15; Luke 1:5-2:19
Lesson Goal: With Thanksgiving still fresh in our hearts, our goal is to carefully and honestly examine how and why we celebrate Christmas.
Introduction: As we turn the page on the Thanksgiving holiday, we turn our attention to the wonderful season of Christmas. I stand in full agreement with Edward Pola and George Wyle who, in 1963, penned the words to the favorite Christmas classic “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” This song is a beautiful celebration and description of many of the sights and sounds of Christmas. Its primary focus is the special time shared with family and friends during the Christmas season.
Before we turn our calendars to December, may I offer a couple of suggestions or nuggets of thought as you prepare for the Christmas season? Along with the excitement of decorating the tree, putting up the lights, hanging the stockings and voicing the gift wish list, may I suggest considering a couple of other things? Begin the Christmas season by taking a deep breath. As you exhale, ask God to help you to remember why it’s called CHRISTMAS. It is Christ’s birth. It is the day of all days to celebrate the birth of our Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ. It is a time to remember that God, who is rich in mercy and because of His great love with which He loved us, gave us the gift of the birth of the Messiah.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, God blesses us with so many great opportunities to worship Him. As a church family, we have the opportunity to worship with our children and adult drama ministry and choir. God uses these ministries to bless us and truly remind us of the glorious blessings of the Christmas season. One of the greatest opportunities of all will be when we assemble on Christmas Eve night at 11:00 pm to worship and celebrate the birth of the Savior. If you have never taken the time or opportunity to be a part of this service, please come and join us this year.
Before you answer with a respectful and resounding, “No thank you,” I humbly and respectfully ask you to give these worship opportunities a try. Come let the children bless you. Come catch the true spirit of Christmas as it is expressed by the songs, witnessed in the smiles, and communicated by our children.
For three months, our drama team and choir have rehearsed and practiced in order to give God their best and to be used as His vessels to bless all of us. God takes ordinary folks who are willing to give their “fish and bread,” and He uses them for His glory and our blessing. Please give one hour of your time to be blessed by those who have worked so hard. All you have to do to receive the blessing is come. Please come and be blessed.
For the vast majority of us, I do not believe there is a question of if we celebrate Christmas this year. We celebrate Christmas. But the question is: “How and why do we celebrate Christmas?”
How will you celebrate Christmas? (Please answer honesty, not with what is acceptable and expected.) How will you truly celebrate Christmas?
Please write a paragraph explaining why you celebrate Christmas.
With reverence and honor, please read aloud Matthew 1:18-2:15; Luke 1:5-2:19.
Why does the reading of this story never get old or become dull? How does reading this story aloud minister to you?
In the remaining moments of your study time or in your Life Focus class, with prayerful thought, would you literally write a list of the ways you want to honor God by celebrating Christmas this year? Would you share these with others? God may use the things He has placed on your heart today to be a special blessing to someone else.
How can you be a blessing to someone this Christmas season?
Someone reading this lesson is thinking, There’s really nothing I can do. I don’t sing in the choir. I’m not in the drama team. I don’t have the financial resources to spend on gifts. There’s just not really anything I can do to bless others. How about stepping out of your living room and volunteering to ring the Salvation Army bell? You don’t have to sing or act; you don’t have to give any of your money, just a little of your time. Some of you fishermen and hunters, can you give two hours? Some of you sweet senior saints, can you give two hours? What about the rest of us? Are we willing to give two hours to bless someone who needs a touch of love?
“Oh yeah, Christmas is supposed to be about giving!” God help me to remember that, as we turn the page toward Christmas.