Believe it or not, Christmas is right around the corner. But, in this hard year in American life how do we truly enjoy Christmas and all its festivities? Maybe, like me, you ache not only in your own heartbreak, but also for so many hurting ones around you. Maybe you long for more of Jesus rather than more that sparkles.
We need His love now more than ever.
As Christians, let’s spend the weeks leading up to Christmas focusing on our Savior King, the Hero of the Christmas story, our Lord of Lords, Jesus.
We don’t want to wake up on Christmas morning trying to catch our hearts up to the wonder of the Gift of Himself. We want to soak it in and make space in our minds, hearts, and lives during these Advent weeks and remind ourselves of His surprising incarnation and rejoice in all that God has done for us through Jesus.
The question Advent invites us to consider is this: How ready am I for the arrival of the King? — Because of Bethlehem
Max Lucado’s study Because of Bethlehem will be our Advent Online Bible Study starting Sunday, December 3 for just four weeks. You won’t want to miss this! Friends, even if you even went through this last year, join us again and make it a new Christmas tradition!
God has a face and became like one of us. — Max
Although Christmas is a season of celebration and heartwarming family times together, as many of us can attest Christmas can also be a season of sadness, lost hope, and disappointment. Because of Bethlehem isn’t only a study of the shining, miraculous, lovely wonder of Christmas, but it’s also a deeper look into the struggle, suffering, messiness, and yet the beauty and joy of the Advent story.
There’s a good reason Max Lucado has oftentimes been called “America’s Pastor”. He knows the Word of God, he’s full of the love of Jesus, and he’s approachable, relatable, kind, friendly, and wise. His eyes look straight at you undistracted by others, caring about you personally like you’re the only one in the room, the only one that matters right now. I imagine Jesus is exactly like that.
The first time I met Max a friend of mine introduced us by telling him a little bit of the hard story I was right in the middle of — quite an unexpected introduction. Max completely unhinged me by giving me a hug and with great kindness in his eyes he asked me a few questions, then said “You’re going to get through this…” and shared what he felt impressed from the Lord to say. He was comforting and fatherly in a way that touched me to my core. I carry that conversation with me to me to this day with such great appreciation and gratitude. Even though I’ve never sat through a service at Max’s church, Oak Hills in San Antonio, TX, he will always be one of my pastors and I am so thrilled to do this study with him and our community against here at FaithGateway.
Here’s a look at our schedule for Because of Bethlehem:
- Week One (Dec. 3 – 9) – God Has a Face
- Week Two (Dec. 10 – 16) – Worship Works Wonders
- Week Three (Dec. 17 – 23) – God Guides the Wise
- Week Four (Dec. 24 – 30) – Every Heart a Manger
Every year Advent invites us to prepare our hearts once more for the gift — the gift that seemingly is too good to be true but is, in fact, miraculously and joyously true! And each year, we have the opportunity to say yes to that invitation, to prepare our hearts for the miracle of Immanuel, “God with us.” — Because of Bethlehem
Let’s make this Advent season different than every other year. Join us as we journey into the story of the birth of Jesus, with all the strange, unexpected, startling, and wondrous events and characters. We’ll put our study into action with Advent Practice and Advent Reflection in order to live what we are learning, too! Because of Bethlehem OBS starts in just a few of weeks!
Watch the Video for the Because of Bethlehem OBS
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Whip up some hot chocolate, and join the conversation on our blog to let us know you’ll be with us! And get your friends, neighbors, and family together and invite them, too! This is a perfect Advent study for sharing the love of Christ with your people this time of year – spouses, parents, and older children can do this study with you, too!