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 Two: More Than Forgiven (November 28):
Bottom Line: God wants to be more than your forgiver; He wants to be your Father.
Usually when we read the Christmas story, we start with one of the four Gospels. This week, we’ll take a look at what Paul says about the Christmas story in Galatians. He offers a perspective that is unique from Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. For Paul, the message isn’t just that Jesus comes to forgive our sins; He comes so that we can know God as our Father. For thousands of years, God has primarily been a lawgiver to the nation of Israel, but now—through Christ—He is a Father to all of those who seek Him. The beauty of the Christmas story is not that we are just off the hook for our sins, but that we can have an intimate relationship with our Creator.