READING FOR STUDY GUIDE: Luke 2: 1-38
Text: Luke 2: 1-38
Thesis: Christmas is the time of celebrating Christ coming into this world to save us from sin and to put us into right relationship with God the Father. Let’s keep Christ in Christmas, so we can experience the full blessing of what God really has for us. God has so much more for us than this world would have us to believe. The Christmas story as conveyed through the Biblical record is not only the story of what God did in the lives of shepherds, Simeon and Anna, it is the story of what God desires to do in your life today!
Christmas means God does (among many things) the following:
- God deals with your impossibilities!
- God works in the shallows of your life!
- God directs your life!
- God cares for you!
GOD WORKS IN THE SHALLOWS
- Luke 2: 8 & 25 & 36-37 – “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night…Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon who…was waiting for the consolation of Israel…There was a prophetess Anna…She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.”
- The everyday lives of ordinary people are where God reveals God’s self to the world.
- The shepherds watched over sheep. Simeon went to church. Anna never left the temple.
Has God revealed God’s self to you in an activity you thought was a common everyday experience until God showed up. Please describe.
- I Corinthians 10: 31 – “Whatever you eat or drink or what ever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
- The shallow activities of life, eating and drinking, and walking and talking, are all ordained by God.
- Jesus was born into these things and He lived in them as the Son of God.
How does knowing the disciple is not above his Master, what meanings do the shallow activities of your life take on as you place them in the context of your relationship with God the Father, through Jesus Christ the Son?
- Hebrews 2: 10-11 – “In bringing many sons to glory…God should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.”
- God is at work in your everyday trials.
- Steel is the product of iron ore plus fire. Soil is rock plus organic matter and the crushing of glaciers.
- In the same way, the development of our character as children of God requires the plus of trials and the presence of God.
Just as the psychological study published in Time magazine found that people who had weathered the repeated adversity of losing their jobs and finding another were incredibly resilient, what storms has God brought you through? Jesus calls you brother or sister. How do you know bear His likeness?
- Luke 1:39-41 – “…Mary…hurried to…Elizabeth…the baby leaped in [Elizabeth’s] womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”
- The shallows represent that which is closest to us.
- The deepest ocean has a shallow shore that meets the land.
- God works in the closest relationships of family, friends, coworkers, neighbors.
- Jesus started His ministry in His home town (Luke 4: 16).
- The disciples were told to start their ministry in Jerusalem (Acts 2: 8)
The shallows of the ocean are a place of birth and growth. Think of the shallows of your life. What does God want to birth in you? In others? Please describe.