Session 4: God Saves
Suggested Week of Use: December 22, 2019
Core Passage: Matt. 1:18-25; Num. 21:6-9
News Story Summary
A new survey conducted by OnePoll found that 26% of men and 17% of women said they planned to give a “take-the-hint” gift this year. For example, someone with poor hygiene might be given deodorant or cologne. Popular gifts with underlying, unstated meanings include self-help books, exercise equipment, gym memberships, and alarm clocks. Researchers also noted that the people surveyed preferred to receive gifts that they considered “practical.”
(For more on this story, search the Internet using the term “survey passive-aggressive Christmas presents”.)
To replace the welcome idea under Focus Attention, place a large sheet of paper on a focal wall prior to the group time. As adults arrive, give them markers and instruct them to list an odd or unusual Christmas gift they have received in previous years. Review the answers after most have arrived. Share the news story of the trend of giving “take-the-hint” gifts. Ask: Would you consider giving a present like this? Does this trend point to people losing sight of Christ in Christmas? Explain. Emphasize that today’s lesson serves as a reminder of the meaning of Christ’s birth—and His ultimate mission as well.
To supplement Summarize and Challenge, begin by reminding the group of the news story about “take-a-hint” gifts. Ask: In what ways was the gift of Jesus a take-a-hint gift? Emphasize that Jesus’ coming to earth and His eventual sacrificial death was given because of our need for forgiveness. Emphasize Jesus’ reference to Numbers 21 when talking to Nicodemus (John 3) and His coming to be lifted up to provide salvation. Challenge the group to take time during their Christmas celebration to thank Jesus for willingly providing for our salvation. Complete the step as written.