Christmas in a Strange Land
Celebrating Christmas during the Holidays
The Story this Week:
A New Christmas, Luke 2:8-20; Isaiah 43:14-28
Moral of the Story: Christmas is the time of year that Christians are reminded that we need to reveal Jesus in the flesh.
- Can you think of any new thing that God has done in your life in the last year?
- Do you think our culture sees Christianity as initiating new things or do they see it as being old fashioned? Why?
Question the Message
- What idea stood out to you from the message?
- How do you respond to the message of Christmas, like the shepherds, like the magi, or like the Israelites in exile?
- The shepherds and magi would not have been considered “good Christians”. What must people know to be considered “good Christians” in our church? What must they do? Not do? Believe? Not believe? Be specific.
Read Isaiah 43:14-28
- What hope is God offering to the Israelites in verses 14-17?
- Why does God then tell his people to “forget the former things” (vv.18-21).
- One commentary labelled verses 22-28 as “Grace Despised.” Do you think this title fits? What should be the proper response to grace?
- Discuss Brian McLaren’s quote, “As I look around today, sin seems stronger than God the Father, sex stronger than Jesus, money stronger than the Holy Spirit, propaganda stronger than the gospel. This contradicts my faith, and so I am at a loss, wanting neither to hide from the facts nor to jettison the faith.” (The Church on the Other Side, 30)
- In Isaiah 43, is God teaching that we need to do less work, “Let go and let God” or is he calling his people to act?
- The Israelites looked into their past and saw how great they were rather than seeing how much God did for them (v. 26-27). This caused them to become apathetic towards God. Do you think this apathy exists in the Church in Canada? Why?
- Imagine that 75 percent of the people in Canada were Christians as faithful as the average member of our church. What change would this make in our nation? in the world?
© 2013 First Baptist Church, Victoria BC