The Christmas Spirit

Read Together: Genesis 12:1–9

On Sunday morning, we reflected on the role of Joseph in the Christmas story, and one thing we noted was Joseph’s obedience to God’s commands (Matt 1:24). One aspect of Joseph’s legacy is to remind us that the Christmas story calls us to commitment to God no matter the cost. We could even say that the spirit of Christmas includes a spirit of faith in God’s promises that leads to obedience to his commands.

Joseph is really following in the footsteps of others we see throughout Scripture who trust God’s promises and obey his Word no matter the cost. Abraham is prime example of this pattern. The Lord called Abram to leave his homeland and go to another land he would show him. This command was founded on powerful promises: God would richly bless Abram and his descendants, and through Abram’s offspring would come worldwide blessing (Gen 12:1–3). Abram believed God and obeyed. He left his homeland and went to live in Canaan.

We know that Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of these promises to Abraham (Gal 3:7–9). At Christmas, we celebrate the coming of God the Son into the world as the one who makes these promises come true. And our response to these promises should be faith in Jesus that leads to obedience to his Word. The true Christmas spirit is not merely warm, fuzzy, festive feelings. The true Christmas spirit is founded on faith in the promise-keeping God that produces joyful obedience to his Word—no matter the cost.    

Discussion Questions

  1. How did Abram respond to God’s instructions?
  2. What did God promise Abram? How does Jesus make these promises come true?
  3. What should our response be to God’s promises and God’s commands?

Ideas for Younger Kids

  • Read “The Father of Nations” in The Biggest Story Bible Storybook (pages 48–53) and ask your children some of the discussion questions above (paraphrasing them as necessary).
  • Ask your children: “What is Christmas all about?” Discuss that, in one sense, Christmas is about God keeping his promise to rescue us from sin and bring us true life and that Jesus is the one who makes these promises come true. Consider also discussing what a promise is and how we should respond to God’s promises.

Memorization: “The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.” (Galatians 3:7 NLT)

Song: Listen to “Emmanuel (Every Promise Yes in Him)” (Caroline Cobb). This is an excellent song about how Jesus makes all of God’s promises come true.

Pray Together

  • Praise God for Christ’s coming as Immanuel, the one who brings God’s promises to pass!
  • Confess before God our unbelief and the resulting failure to obey his Word.
  • Give thanks to God for his grace in healing our unbelief and disobedience through Jesus.
  • Pray that God would help us grow in the true Christmas spirit of faith in his promises resulting in joyful obedience to his Word.

Go Together

  • Take some time to discuss together the challenge Pastor Jerry gave at the end of his sermon on Sunday: are we willing to say to God: “Anywhere, Anytime, at Any Cost”? Ask yourselves: What are some areas of our lives we need to commit to God in faith and obedience?
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this Family Faith Talk guide or future guides, please let us know by leaving a comment!

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