Our goal in sharing the Christmas story is to give a big picture of who God is, who Jesus is, why Jesus came and why we so desperately need Jesus. We want our nomads to hear and believe that God loves them, Jesus loves them! The story God has given us is full of love, conflict, disobedience, mercy and ultimately reconciliation. This is the story we share in our Christmas parties.
Question: Do you know what Christmas is about? Why do we celebrate it?
Story: (Old Testament, Matthew 1:18-25)
We have already heard stories about how God is passionate and loving. He carefully created the entire world and universe, just by speaking words. Then he created something so special that he created it in His own image, humans. We were made from dust, but God breathed life into us.
Adam & Eve lived in the garden of Eden where everything was perfect, and they were happy. But God gave them instructions that they should not eat the fruit of one specific tree. One day, Satan, God’s enemy, came and tricked Adam and Eve into eating the fruit God told them not to eat. This was the first act of disobedience toward God. As a consequence of their disobedience they were kicked out of the garden and God told them this: Adam, you will work hard in the fields to provide your food. Eve, you will go through extreme pain during childbirth, but one day I will bring a Son through you. Your offspring will crush the head of Satan, but Satan will bite the heel of your offspring. To Satan He said, you will always crawl on your stomach and eat dust.
Disobedience to God became so common that it made God sad. God decided to send a flood to destroy everyone on the Earth but he saved one family - Noah’s family because they obeyed God. Later, as the Earth was filled again with people, they again began to disobey God. God wanted so badly to be reconciled to his people that He sent prophets to share His messages, like Abraham and Isaiah, but still that was not enough. So God told Isaiah he would send his own Son to die and be a sacrifice for all people.
2,000 years ago God chose a simple, ordinary girl named Mary to be special. He sent his angel to her saying, May God’s peace be upon you, you are going to give birth to a child who will set God’s people free from disobedience and who will bring them salvation. When the angel told her this she said, “I believe, and I am here.” She was a young virgin and she was engaged to a man named Joseph. Joseph found out later that she was pregnant and it made him really sad. He decided because of this, since it was not his child, he would divorce her but since he was a man of good character he would do it secretly instead of bringing shame on her. But God’s angel went to Joseph and said do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife because she is pregnant by the holy spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus which means that God is with us. Joseph believed the angel, so he took Mary as his wife.
At this time, everyone in the land needed to report to the government to register their names. So Joseph & Mary went to Bethlehem to do their registration. During their trip, the time came for Mary to give birth to Jesus but there was nowhere for her to go so she gave birth in a manger, where the animals were. People came from all over to see Jesus, the stars lead the way to the new King who was born. Jesus came into this world to bring salvation and redemption and reconciliation. The scriptures say He came to seek and save those who are lost.
As you’ve been coming to groups and hearing stories, you hear stories about God’s power and His love for you. God wants a relationship with you. Maybe sometimes you wonder why these friends are coming every week to meet with you, even though they probably have very busy lives. It’s not because of anything in us, it’s because we know how much Jesus loves you and we want you to know also.
Is there anyone here who has never disobeyed God? No, we all have disobeyed God, just like in the stories we have heard. But God always wants us to be reconciled with Him, He wants a relationship with us. Maybe when you walked in the room today you felt different, or you were thinking differently. Maybe when you listened to how much God loves you and what He did so that you can have a relationship with Him it made you feel convicted in your heart. If you want to leave today different than you came, you can make that decision today. Do you want to follow Jesus? Do you want a relationship with Jesus? If your answer is yes, but you don't know what to do next, talk to one of us today and we would love to share with you and pray with you.