Small Groups often like to have Christmas parties. Group members bring their favorite holiday dish, they bring presents and they brace themselves for a good time. Sometimes, there’s so much fun to be had that groups miss out on experiencing Christmas together on a spiritual level. To keep a Christ-centered focus in your small group party, consider reading a short devotional and discussing one or two questions before you eat. Below is a devotional from Christmas Reboot that you could use.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
~Eph 2:8-9 (NIV)
“Incarnation” is a fancy word. According to Dictionary.com, the Incarnation is “the doctrine that the second person of the Trinity assumed human form in the person of Jesus Christ and is completely both God and man.”
The doctrine of the Incarnation is like a coin. The two theological sides of the coin are the deity of Christ and the humanity of Christ. The two corresponding practical sides are the holiness of Christ and the relevance of Christ. What does this mean? The deity of Christ is what set Him apart from all other people (holy means “set apart”), and the humanity of Christ is what made Him relevant to all people.
In other words, holiness made the man God, and relevance made the God man.
The Incarnation of Christ is the essence of the Christmas story. God saw fit to reach down to a sinful world and make a way for that world to be forgiven and brought into a relationship with Himself, so this same God became a man. How beautiful! God knew we could not be good enough to get to Him, so He was good enough to come to us!
It is this story of Christmas that sets Christianity apart from all other major world religions. Every other religion is the story of humans striving to be good enough to get to God. Christianity is the anti-religion. It is the story of God being good enough to come to us. Every other religion tries to prove that man is good. Christianity simply affirms that God is good.
The Incarnation of Christ is the story of Christmas. The story of Christmas changed the game for everyone. Christmas turned religion upside-down.
Discuss the following questions. Who can more easily lift heavy objects, God or people? If we have a hard time lifting things that are heavy, how much more difficult would it be for us to save ourselves or “lift ourselves to Heaven?” What makes more sense: that God can save us or that we can save ourselves?
You came, Jesus, proving how much we matter to You. Thank You for turning religion upside-down and making a way for us to be saved. Without You and Your salvation, we would be hopelessly lost forever.