5 Minute Faith: The Real Christmas Story

Wisemen, shepherds, angels, no room at the inn… we’ve heard the Christmas story many times. But, in the Bible, there isn’t just one story – there are two. One account by the author of Matthew, another account by the author of Luke. Things we have always assumed are a part of the story  – like Mary riding a donkey, are details that aren’t in the Bible. As one of the youth jokingly said during our Christmas trivia game, “What do you mean there is no donkey?! That’s fake news!!”

While the donkey doesn’t make much difference as to how we understand the birth of Jesus, other things we assume are in the Bible but are not, like “God helps those who help themselves,” do change how we understand the GOOD news. The good news is that God, wanting to be close to us, does something incredibly hard to imagine. God becomes human to show us the way, to save the world from evil, injustice, and oppression.  Because Christ was born in the humblest of places, we know that God comes unexpectedly for those in need of hope, peace, joy, and love– not just the worthy, the rich or the powerful.  God’s grace is for ALL people – that we may know God, love God, and serve God.

The five-minute faith activity this week is to play Christmas Bible trivia together as a family. If your kids play Kahoot!, at school, they’ll enjoy this version you can play in teams. Or, you can use this paper quiz from the UMC webiste.

After you play, Read the Christmas story in Matthew 1-2, and Luke 1-2. Then, name the ways we sometimes try to earn God’s love and grace by doing good things, striving to be “worthy.” Discuss how it feels to know that God’s love is a great gift that is freely given. How might our good deeds be a grateful response to this great gift?

Please invite friends and neighbors to come experience this gift on Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. & 10 p.m.

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