Merry Christmas!  Enjoy this Christmas-themed devotion with your family or small group.

Create Interest
– Name your two favorite Christmas carols.
– What was the most memorable Christmas gift you received as a child?  As an adult?
– List what you like to hear, see, taste, smell, and feel about Christmas.

Nativity (a poem, based on Luke 2)
Homes and hotels fill with family, friends, and native travelers.
A harmless, helpless baby lies in the feeding trough of cows.
While tables fill with food and drink, and walls contain the warmth and laughter,
there, in the barn is barely found safe rest.  Yet one man bows
to offer thanks for life and to worship Whom the manger
holds above the dirty ground, and yields Him to His mother.

He looks into His mother’s eyes and grins, and also cries
for He, like any mortal baby, has need to eat and need for love.
He looks into His father’s eyes; He looks into His Father’s eyes,
and offers hope, though yet to come.  The livestock moves,
the father guards the manger so his son will not die.
The Father knows His Son will die, yet still He sends His love.

The cool air smells like sheep.  The newborn covered with cloth,
those strips of cloth, gently wrapped around His body, keep Him warm
and safe.  Throughout the night, Mary lifts Him from the trough,
cleans the straw from His hands and face, wanting nothing sharp to harm
her son.  But in her heart she knows that one day He will yearn for her soft
touch, on a dreadful day a few miles from this barn.

Shepherds live out in the fields.  The Father’s glory shines around them.
An angel of the Lord proclaims a Savior born, and gives a sign:
Placed in a manger, wrapped in cloth, among the sheep in Bethlehem.
The angels praise the Heavenly Father.  Shepherds race to seek, to find
what they believe the Lord made known.  And at a feeding trough they find Him
with His parents.  The Lord’s salvation brought to all mankind.

Lives lived away from God; all are sinners, without hope.  But Christ has come
to forgive, to heal, to wrap with Love.  He takes the sins of many lives
upon Himself.  Mary watches as her son endures what He won’t have undone,
on that dreadful day a few mile from the barn.  He looks into His mother’s eyes,
He looks into His Fathers’ eyes, and says, “It is finished, it is done.”
Peace on earth has finally come.  The baby, now a man, is God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

Build Foundations
– What gift have you given that meant more for you to give than for someone to receive?  Why?
– Describe what the world misses about celebrating Christmas.  What can you do to change this?
– Tell what the Bible says about:  the Christ-child…  the Son of Man…  the King of kings.

Apply Truth
Personally meditate on these key words, or discuss these with your friends or small group.  What does the Bible say about each one?  Determine how you will interact with these subjects this week:
– gift
– peace
– Christmas

(See About My Books for more information about devotionals and study guides for individual or small group use.)

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