Each year, the Christmas season compels people to ask the Christmas questions. What's the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me? Of all the responses to these questions, there is one that stands out from the rest: Because of Bethlehem, God knows what it is like to be a human. When we talk to God about our challenges, our struggles, and our tough times, he understands, because he's been there. He's been here.
Because of Bethlehem, we have a friend in heaven. We have a Savior in heaven. Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The child in the cradle became the king on the cross. Because he did, there are no marks on our record, just grace. Because of Bethlehem, we have the promise God is always near us. Always for us. Always in us. We may forget him, but he never forgets us.
No day is accidental or incidental. No acts are random or wasted. Just look at the Bethlehem birth. A king levies a tax. Joseph is forced to travel. Mary, as round as a ladybug, bounces on a donkey's back. The hotel is full. The hour is late. The event is one big hassle. Yet out of the hassle, hope was born. Christmas reminds us that "everything works together for the good of those who love God" (Romans 8:28). And long after the Christmas guests have left, the carolers have gone home, and the lights have come down, that promise endures.
Sessions include: God Has a Face (chapters 2, 4) Worship Works Wonders (chapters 5, 6) God Guides the Wise (chapters 7, 8) Every Heart Is a Manger (chapters 11, 12)