Incarnation 12

We are God’s plan for changing the world. Let that soak in. … We are not just passive recipients of God’s love and grace. As we become children of the light, we cannot keep that light within ourselves. It is meant to spill out from us naturally and touch the lives of others. And every time it does, the light extends just a little farther, the darkness recedes bit by bit, the kingdom of God expands, and the world is changed.

“God sent Jesus to launch a revolution of the heart that ultimately leads us to take his light into the world. And how do we do that? It starts with watchfulness—paying attention to see where someone needs our support or our assistance.” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (pages 140-141)

 

How are you paying attention to the places and people to whom you can carry Christ’s light this Christmas?


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Incarnation 11

“While Christians often speak about the Bible as the Word of God, the Word of God in its most decisive and definitive form came to us not as a book, but as a person. Jesus is God’s self-disclosure, God’s revelation of himself to humanity. God’s Word was incarnate in Jesus. All other words about God, everything else we read in scripture, must be read in the light of the Word of God that is Jesus. He incarnates the wisdom, reasoning, mind, and heart of God.” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (page 134)

 

When has thinking about Jesus as the Word of God helped you understand other “words about God”?


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Incarnation 10

“John records that Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). … This is the point of Christmas. It is the celebration of light piercing our darkness, God’s light coming to us to enlighten our lives. We need not fear that we will stumble or become lost because we are no longer trying to find our way in the dark; we have the light of Christ by which we walk.” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (page 130)

 

What Advent and Christmas celebrations most meaningfully convey to you God’s light “piercing our darkness,” and why?


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Incarnation 9

“Matthew begins his Gospel telling us that Jesus is ‘God with us’—Emmanuel. At the end of his Gospel, he recounts Jesus’s final words to his disciples, ‘I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20). It is not just that God was with us in Jesus, but that Jesus continues to be with us. He is still Emmanuel. And because I believe he is with me, I live differently; I have peace, I find strength, I live seeking to walk with him.” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (page 109)

 

How do you live differently because Jesus was and continues to be “Emmanuel”?


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Incarnation 8

“This is what we mean when we speak of the Incarnation: God took on flesh and entered our world as a human being. It is clear in scripture that Jesus is not merely God wrapped in human flesh—God in a body. He became human in Jesus. He experienced what we experience as humans. In Jesus, God experienced temptation, love, hunger, joy, fear, friendship, grief, doubt, rejection, a sense of abandonment by God, and death. He wept, he bled, he suffered, he died. There is something profoundly moving about God actually knowing what we are experiencing as humans.” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (page 102)

 

When was a time you found special meaning and comfort in God having become human in Jesus Christ?


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Incarnation 7

“I do not believe that God sent the coronavirus, but I do believe he is with us in the midst of this pandemic, doing what God always does—comforting, leading, consoling, and wringing good from the adversity and pain. There will be plenty of silver linings from this frightening turn of events. Even now, in the midst of the pandemic, the world has changed in so many ways for the better. There is tragedy and death, but there is life, hope, goodness, and love.” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (page 90)

 

Where are you noticing God “wringing good” from the pain of the ongoing pandemic?


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Incarnation 6

“Love came down at Christmas to a stable in Bethlehem, to two poor parents and a handful of night-shift shepherds. That love would be evident in the way he healed the sick, forgave sinners, welcomed children, fed the hungry, and cared for his disciples. But nowhere was that love more clearly seen than on the cross as he hung there, saying, ‘This much. God loves you this much.’” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (pages 75-76)

 

Who has shared the message of God’s love for you in an especially meaningful way?


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Incarnation 5

“My experience, after forty-two years of being a Christian and attempting to walk with Christ daily, is that I am still tempted to think, say, or do things God does not intend. But when I turn to Christ, I sense his strength, his help, and his deliverance. He has transformed, and is transforming, my inner desires. We call this sanctification—the process by which the Holy Spirit changes our hearts and minds so that we become the people God intended us to be.” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (page 59)

 

W hen was a time you were aware of the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work in your life?


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Incarnation 4

“I’m reminded of someone who once said to me, ‘Why do Christians spend so much time talking about sin?’ For some people, it feels like sin is the only thing they hear about in church. I want to be clear: if all you ever hear about in church on Sunday is sin, you’re probably in the wrong church. But if you never hear about sin in church, you may also be at the wrong church. The good news of Jesus is not that we’re sinners, but that he is our Savior. But we can’t appreciate his role as Savior if we don’t know we need to be saved.” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (pages 51–52)

 

How would you respond to someone who asked, “Why do Christians spend so much time talking about sin?”


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Incarnation 3

“Today, nearly a third of the world’s population claims Jesus as their King. Far more have been influenced by the things he taught, the values he espoused, the life he lived. I don’t believe it is an overstatement to say that he is the single most influential person to have walked this planet. For those who count him as King, as I do, we awaken each day recognizing that our highest allegiance, our deepest devotion, and our greatest commitment is not to country or political party or even to family, but to Jesus the Christ, our King, whose kingdom is the climax of human history.” —Adam Hamilton, Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (pages 38-39)

 

What do you consider the most significant measure of Jesus’s influence on the world?


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