Christmas Cultivate Lesson 9                    

Review from last week
1.  What is pop culture? 

2. a reference to music, movies and tv programs and those who make them. ? What good things have come from human creations of culture? reading and writing, transportation, television, sports, family, communication.  

3.  Seed thought: 

God designed all humans to create culture.  So humans shape culture, and the culture we shape in turn shapes us.

We talked last time about How do Christians effect culture? Human culture should be better because Christians are in it.  (We are the salt of the earth)

Students write down the blue questions and the red answers.

Cultivating a Culture that Embraces Miracles

1. What's the meaning of Christmas?  recognize the savior being born into to world to save mankind.

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

 

2. What makes Christ conception a miraculous event?  it was foretold to Mary, an angel appeared and the prophecy.

The Christmas season is truly a time to reflect on one of the Gospel’s most sacred supernatural events and that is the conception and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It stands as one of the most well-known examples of the power of God.

3.  Where's the bigger miracle? The miracle is that Christ is from a virgin birth. Mary did not have sex with Joseph or any one until she had given birth to Christ.

I open with the Virgin birth because many Christians seems to be able to take in the Virgin birth but have struggles taking in other supernatural events in the Bible.

A new film on Moses is being released in theaters this week. I was super excited about it and hoped it would be something I could take the Bible classes to go see. However, I was concerned that it would contain gross theological error much like the film Noah. Watch Noah Trailer 2min video Still I kept my hopes up, waiting to read any reviews. I finally found a few reviews and interviews with the actors. Let me tell you I was so disappointed when I discovered that the director’s portrayal of God, the ten plagues, and even the parting of the Red Sea was greatly misrepresented. It appears that the director had a hard time believing in the supernatural account the Bible shares. Watch Exodus God and King Trailer 2min video

Unfortunately, this director is not the only one that struggles with the supernatural power of God. There is a strange trend amongst some Christians to try and logically explain miraculous events. Some have gone so far as to not believe in most of the book Genesis which includes creation, Noah’s ark, the flood, and other supernatural events.

However, praise God somehow they still believe in the resurrection of Christ. Even still, I am concerned if they continue down this road of failure to embrace the supernatural, they may soon struggle with the resurrection as well.

4.  Seed thought:  there is a reason why Christ said you must have faith like a child to enter the Kingdom of heaven. 

5. How would you describe child-like faith?  is a faith that's open to the supernatural.

6. What is the difference between being naive and the child like faith Christ speaks of? Children are easily fooled and led astray. Children tend to accept things unquestioningly, often missing truth while being drawn to myths and fantasies.  child like faith must mature into faith that leads to certainty and a heart filled with joy that only comes from an assured confidence in the object of our faith—Jesus Christ

7.  Why do you think the present culture has a hard time believing in miracles?  most people walk by sight apostle Paul exhorts Christians to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

8.  How can we inspire those around us to open their hearts to the supernatural power of God? be Christian cultural leaders

Watch Christmas explained 7min video

     Famous author of the Peanuts comic script and tv show Charles Shultz felt to make a Christmas movie. For those of you who have no clue what the Peanuts is… Its Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

2.     Anyway, he wrote a script that basically showed Charlie Brown that the meaning of Christmas was about Christ birth. The network basically told Charles Schultz that his showed wouldn’t do well because it was too spiritual. To everyone’s amazement it became one of the longest running Christmas cartoons today and is still famous! You may not realize it but many loved Christmas tunes come from the soundtrack of the Charlie Brown Christmas show. Mr. Schultz took a risk and took a stand to defend and honor the true meaning of Christmas. He used his creativity and influence to bring Christ into the lives of thousands of viewers who may or may not be Christian!

Why do we need to know about Christmas culture?

1.  To let others know what is our perspective.

2.  Helps to guide others toward heaven

3.  then we begin to make the right decisions and form the appropriate responses to questions on Christmas, virgin-birth, 3 wisemen, Jesus being the Son of God. Because, in the end, the truth does set us free.  It is our decisions and actions that reveal what we really believe.

     Here is what one journalist reported concerning this event…

“One concern that came along early in the development of the show was that of the true meaning of Christmas. Even in those pre-Politically Correct days, religion was something that you didn’t see or hear on prime time television. When Bill Melendez asked Charles Schulz about the reading of the Bible passage by Linus, he was told, If we don’t do this, who else will?”

 

 

Big Question:

7.  What can you do to spread the true meaning of Christmas?

 

Small Group Discussion

QUESTIONS CONCERNING CHRISTMAS AND CULTURE

A. I’m not saying children can’t have holiday fun singing about Santa and watching Santa movies, but do you think that part of America’s skeptical feeling about miracles could have in a way started with their initial disillusionment after discovering that the magical version of Santa wasn’t real? How might the myth of Santa affect the way that child looks at the Bible and Jesus?

B. Lets take a moment and pretend like we are adults with children. How might we go about embracing holiday Santa fun with our children but help them realize that the supernatural power of God and the Virgin birth is real but Santa is just for fun? 

Would you share the true story of Saint Nick but still let the kids enjoy the pretend idea of a magical Santa?

Would you only let your kids celebrate the sacred aspect of Christmas meaning Christ’s birth. What are your thoughts?

C. OUR SOCIETY IS TRYING TO MOVE AWAY FROM SAYING MERRY CHRISTMAS TO A POLITICALLY CORRECT HAPPY HOLIDAYS. What are some ways we can still respect those around us that so not celebrate Christmas, but still specifically honor Christ as the reason for the season?

Basically how would you word your Christmas greeting while being sensitive to the sacredness of Christ but also sensitive to the beliefs of others?