Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Second Sunday of Advent 2010 Reflections

“Celebrating Christmas in the Hospital” (Adapted from Hail the Heaven Born by GKBaker)
Advent is the season of preparation, anticipation and expectation of the coming Messiah, how do we, as people in the hospital, make ready?
Scripture: Matthew 3:1-12
Key Verse: “Bear fruit worthy of repentance” (v.8)
Focus of the Lesson:
Christmas is not just the birth of an innocent baby Jesus. The sermon of John the Baptist reminds us that the baby born is a “Righteous Judge” who will separate the chaff from the wheat.
Goals in study:
1. To examine the imagery of John the Baptist vs Christmas
2. To consider what it means to “bear fruit”
3. To respond to the prophet’s call
As we anticipate Christmas in this Advent season, we see many symbols and signs pointing to Christmas. We see lanterns, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, nativity scenes, angels singing and gifts. The season is full of images that points to joy, cheerfulness, goodwill and love. But there is another side to the Christmas story that we often forget. John the Baptist has a different message than how we usually understand Christmas. He was preaching and preparing the people about the coming of the Messiah who will judge and make us accountable.
The key word in the scripture lesson is “bear fruit.”
Interpreting the Scripture:
1. The picture and the message of John the Baptist vs our traditional Christmas images
2. Confessing our sins and bearing fruit
3. The sermon message of John and the message of Advent
Sharing the Scriptures:
1. What family traditions do you observe during Advent and Christmas?
2. How does John’s sermon challenge you to see the incarnation differently?
3. How will you respond to the prophet’s call to repent and bear fruits worthy of repentance?

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