The Wise Men

A group of Magi Astrologers travel months to visit the new “King of the Jews” born in Bethlehem. We take a look at the Christmas Story through their eyes. As we see their sacrifice, joy and worship, we too are reminded of what this holiday season truly means.

Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

Immanuel: ‘God With Us’

In the midst of scandal, distress, shame and fear Joseph was met with the good news that God is there in the very midst of life with him. The presence of God invades and replaces our fears – whatever they are. For Christians, Christmas can be a reality for us year round. The Christian life – starting with the birth of Jesus – is about God’s presence flooding our lives and this earth.

The best gift you can get this Christmas season – is the giver of gifts – God himself because we are naturally relationally wired. We crave presence – in fact, that’s usually just exactly what we need even in the most dire circumstances. We serve a God who is relational by nature – that’s why He is called “Emmanuel” – God with us. He desperately wants to be with you. Do you want to be with him?

Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25

Mary’s Faith, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

What does an unwed teenage girl who finds herself pregnant have to do with God’s plan to redeem the world? Everything – surprise, surprise, surprise. For Mary, things were going along as was expected – finally betrothed (we’d call it engaged), making her list and checking it twice for the preparation for her wedding, who to invite, what items to get for her new home, etc. Everything was as expected, except for the unexpected guest – Gabriel. Can God still interrupt our routines for his plans to redeem the world? Would we respond as Mary?

Scripture: Luke 1:26-38

An Untold Beginning

The original Christmas Story doesn’t start with the cute, warm, cliché sentimental hallmark Christmas beginnings of “Once upon a time” or “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house.” Typically, we always just skip over the beginning genealogy of Matthew’s gospel because it’s dull or we don’t understand it.

Yet, Matthew is preparing us to understand the scandalous news of Jesus’ birth. He is giving us clues about the kinds of people that Jesus came to save in the Christmas Story. No one is outside the bounds of the grace of Jesus as we celebrate his birth because everyone was in his genealogy: male and female, Jew and Gentile, sinner and saint, virgin and prostitute.

Ultimately, the Christmas Story is about a messy beginning met with a miraculous ending – about perfection coming from imperfection.

Scripture: Matthew 1:1-17