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Going Deeper—The God of Christmas (with Study Guide #12b)

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Dear Readers,

How do you keep the meaning of Christmas fresh? I have a friend who prays each year that the Lord would reveal some new spiritual insight into the Christmas story. She says her prayer is always answered. I’ve been inspired to follow her example, and have found some rich insights as a result.

What part of the Christmas story have you never explored? Asking questions about familiar elements such as the shepherds or the history of Bethlehem or the customs of swaddling can lead to delightful discoveries.

May the God of Christmas bring you renewed peace, joy and hope this season. And may you cultivate a sense of adventure as you delve deeper into His Story!

The God of Christmas

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By Ruth Wood and Kay Smith

Facing the realities of life can sometimes be discouraging and depressing. We look for any glimpses of joy and see little. We vainly clutch idols that appear to promise fulfillment and learn that despite our white-knuckled grasping, what we want continually slips through our hands like sand. Escape into fantasy, denial, or “working harder” makes sense.

Into this stark reality, we need a strong injection of hope. Now, it could be said that Christmas is the celebration of God invading this reality. Here is how Roy Hicks, Jr. describes it in his book, A Small Book About God:

Do you want to encounter the Christian God? Then listen for a baby’s cry. Reach out and touch Him—that’s a feed crib He’s sleeping in. Smell the hay. Hear the animals stirring in the barn. Feel the restlessness of the crowds outside in the streets who were summoned to Bethlehem for a census.

Welcome to the world Jesus was born into. Our world. We don’t have a mystical religion in a fantasy world. God invaded the messy reality of this planet so that He could bring the reality of His light into our darkness.

And this is the hope, the Good News. God brings Himself to “what is.” We no longer have to hide or escape or pretend because we now have an ally and a very present Comforter in our circumstances.

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God with us (Matthew 1:23).

©2013 Ruth Wood and Kay Smith. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Published by www.Comfort-Cafe.net. Contact info: ruthywood@gmail.com

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