For 2,000 years, Christians have gathered all over the world to celebrate the birth of Christ, and not just as a historical event, but as a powerful reminder that God doesn’t give up on His promises—and as God’s children, we always have hope. The Christmas story began with the nation of Israel, a group of people that had good reason to lose hope—they hadn’t heard a word from God in hundreds of years. To the poets, prophets and priests, it seemed as if God might have turned His back on them. The thrilling nature of the Christmas story is that God didn’t turn His back, and although He had been silent, He had not been still. A baby was coming. God was putting skin on and moving into the neighborhood. Hope crashed into the silence.
Session 1 (November 14):
Bottom Line: When God is silent, it doesn’t mean He is still.
Christmas is a season marked with anticipation for those of us inside of the church and even those outside of it. However, the nation of Israel understood expectation in a much deeper way than waiting on a new bicycle. At the time of Jesus’ birth, it had been hundreds of years since God had sent a prophet, an oracle, or even a judgment. As we discover in the first chapter of Luke, all of that is about to change. The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth—the parents of John the Baptist—teaches us that when God is silent, it doesn’t mean He is still. He reverses the fortune of a barren woman, ends years of silence, and sends His Son to into the world. The Christmas story since the beginning has been about a relentless God who is always on the move.