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 who 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 Three: More Than a Story (December 5)
Bottom Line: The power of the Christmas story is that it isn’t just a story.
In the 21st Century, some 2,000 years after the words were written, the Christmas story has come under assault in our culture. Is this story even true? Perhaps you have wondered that yourself. With the local mall changing its slogan from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays,” perhaps you have secretly wondered if Christmas should be more about celebrating family than the birth of a Savior. Through reading the gospel of Luke—and understanding why he wrote his letter—we discover that the Christmas story is more than a story. The Christmas story is an event in history. Understanding Luke’s historical context helps us realize that our faith isn’t in faith and our belief isn’t in belief. The Christmas story is a historical event with real names and faces, real stables and horses. When we understand this, what makes the “Holy Night” of Christ’s birth so wonderful is that it actually happened. (Session 3 concludes with a special session video we have created, and the video is included for free with your series downloads in the graphic support folder.)