Christmas Day service

Matthew 1:1-17

Christmas Day service

A Different Kind of Christmas Story

I. Nothing says CHRISTMAS like a GENEALOGY. (Mt. 1:1-17)
A. Genealogies THEN and NOW.
B. It’s MORE than just a FAMILY tree. (Lk. 3:23-38)
C. It’s a WAY of telling a STORY. (v.1,17)
D. Jesus, the SON of DAVID. (v.1,17)

Why would we focus on a genealogy on Christmas Day? Doesn’t that seem like a waste of a Sunday morning? Well, that depends on what you think a genealogy is for. In the ancient Hebrew world genealogies weren’t just a exhaustive (and exhausting) listing of your ancestors.

1. Kid’s Question: Ask your parents about their most unusual relative.
2. What does your family tree contribute to who you are today? Both negatively and positively?

II. Take NOTICE of what is DIFFERENT. (Ez. 3:1; Prov. 2:1-5)
A. The PRESENCE of ANNOTATIONS. (V.2,3,5,6,11,16)
B. JUDAH and JECONIAH (Jehoiachin). (v.2,11; Gen 49:10; 2 Kings 24-25)
C. The NAMING of WOMEN. (v.3,5,6,16)
D. Plenty of GENTILES and SCANDALS. (v.3,5,6)

One of the ways we discern what Matthew is doing with this listing of Jesus’ family tree is we sit with it a while. We take the time to read slowly and look for what stands out. Matthew breaks some rules and does some unusual things in this listing.

3. Which of the annotations to the genealogy stands out the most to you and why?
4. Take the time to trace out the women mentioned and read the stories behind them. What is Matthew saying by including these women in the genealogy?

III. The FAMILY that we’ve INHERITED. (Mt. 1:1-17)
A. God WELCOMES the OUTCASTS. (Mt. 9:11-12)
B. God RESTRUCTURES societal NORMS. (Lk. 1:51-53)
C. Your PICTURE is in God’s HALLWAY. (I Jn 3:1)
D. CULTIVATING a family RESEMBLANCE. (Lk. 6:40; 2 Cor. 3:18)

The reason this genealogy can be a “different kind of Christmas story” is because it brings us into the family. And true to core meaning of Christmas, it gives us insight into what this family is like…what it is we are called to be as the family of God.

5. Do you identify as an outcast? If not, who are the outcasts God might be calling you to welcome in this coming year?
6. How well do you respond to changes in the way things are? Does God’s tendency to change and upset the status quo bring you comfort or anxiety? Why?
7. What does it mean to you that you picture hangs in God’s hallway? How can you seek to cultivate a family resemblance in the coming year?