Jesus’ Birth

Jesus’ Birth

Study by Michael Usey
Commentary by Cecil Sherman

Jesus’ Birth $5.99

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Brief Description

Many Christian churches use the Revised Common Lectionary [RCL] to determine which Scriptures to read in worship on Sunday mornings. The Lectionary system has informed Christian worship since the early days after the time of Jesus, not only calling believers to passages they might otherwise overlook, but also serving as a means of retelling the miraculous story of God’s work. As you probably already know, the Christian year begins with the Advent season. The RCL offers a set of four readings (Old Testament, Psalms, Epistle, and Gospel) for each Sunday of the year, based on a three-year cycle with the titles of Years A, B, and C. The Gospel readings from Year A are derived largely from Matthew, Year B’s from Mark and John, and Year C’s from Luke.

This Advent study will follow Year C, and the majority of readings will originate from Luke’s story of Jesus. Generally, the RCL readings for Advent follow this four-week pattern: Week 1, apocalyptic texts, or those that speak of Christ’s return; Week 2, John the Baptizer’s introduction; Week 3, the announcement to Mary of Jesus’ pending birth; and Week 4, a description of John’s impact or preaching.

Keep in mind, however, that this progression ignores the fact that one of our Gospels, namely Luke’s, contains a full account of the events leading up to Jesus’ birth. He starts from the very beginning, nine months before John’s conception, and in fact, tells his account in full detail. Luke’s narrative remembers the story of the angelic messenger who announced the coming of God into our world.

Too often we are a people who profess that God lives, yet somehow we still manage to forget that God acts among us. Mary knew that truth all too well. Her willing acceptance of the divine plan served as a means for God to walk among God’s people. God’s presence in Mary’s life birthed an incredible joy that was shared by her cousin Elizabeth. We, too, may share in this joy, especially during Advent as we remember that God comes to us as well. As Luke recounts that the shepherds joyfully told the story of Jesus’ birth, he also reminds us that all believers—whether ancient or contemporary—are invited to testify to the joy of Christ. So this study, as we wait for the birth of the Messiah, Luke helps us remember.

Materials Included
• 5 Sessions of Learner’s Materials
• 5 Sessions of Teaching Materials
• 4 Handouts

Sessions Included
1. Hushed by an Angel
2. Just Say Yes
3. Leaping for Joy
4. It’s Your Turn to Carry the Baby
5. A Visit from the Sunrise on High

Age Group

1. Luke 1:5-25
2. Luke 1:26-38
3. Luke 1:39-56
4. Luke 2:1-20
5. Luke 1:57-80

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