I think the hardest Christmas I remember was our first Christmas together as a married couple. It was most difficult because Colleen’s mom had just passed away. We drove East to be with her father. One memory I have is the three of us trudging through the snow, to the back forty, to pick out a Christmas tree. The tree looked good in the bush but when we got it to the living room we all realized how pathetic it was. That sad tree kind of captured our Christmas that year.
Bethlehem carries the incredible honour of being the birthplace of Jesus but it wasn’t always a happy place. Sometimes Christmas just isn’t so happy
Sermon Study Questions:
Read Matthew 2:13-18
- Remember a Christmas that wasn’t so easy. Take time to describe to your friends what happened and how you were feeling through that.
- Twice in this passage Matthew quotes an Old Testament passage and shows how they point to Jesus. Read Hosea 11:1 and Jeremiah 31:15 and the surrounding text. Walk each other through how they point to Jesus.
- Jesus narrowly escapes being killed, but at least several young boys in Bethlehem did not. How do you explain evil when your friends ask you, “If there’s a God then why does He allow suffering?”
- Herod carries massive insecurity that expresses itself as blind rage inflicting horrendous pain. And he’s in the Christmas story! How might ‘Herod’ (someone or something undesirable) be present in your Christmas this year and how are you going to invite Jesus to walk with you through that?
- Take time to pray for those who have lost a family member and are going to find this Christmas very difficult.