Family Jesse Tree Study – December 24
Welcome to our family Bible study focused on preparing our hearts for Christmas. The Jesse Tree is the family tree of Jesus (see Matthew 1 and Luke 3 for a complete genealogy of Jesus). All along its branches are men and women of God who have incredible stories to share and from which we can glean a deeper understanding of faith and build a stronger relationship with God. God orchestrated these people and stories for a reason — to point us to His Son Jesus who comes to save us once and for all.
For this study, we encourage you to read, reflect, and journal on these scriptures on your own and then find a good time with your family to do this devotion together. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading followed by a devotion, discussion question, and prayer taken from “Jesse Tree Family Devotions” by the Reformed Church in America, then below that is a SOAP journal note from one of our study leaders. For printable ornaments to make your own Jesse Tree, see: http://images.rca.org/docs/discipleship/jessepatterns.pdf. If you’re doing this study with smaller kids, consider using a children’s Bible to share the stories, or use the shorter version of the scripture provided in parentheses. For older kids, consider introducing them to the SOAP method of journaling through this study.
We hope you join us in this study, and please share how it’s going, your favorite Christmas traditions, and prayer requests in the Comments section on our website.
Luke 2:1-5 – Bethlehem
The Birth of Jesus
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Sometimes taking a trip is fun, like when we go on vacation. Sometimes it’s not so fun, like when we go to the doctor when we’re sick. But usually when we’re on a journey, whether a short trip or a long one, we experience something new. We learn things on a journey. Mary and Joseph went on a journey. If we were to take the same journey by car, it wouldn’t take very long, but because Mary and Joseph were walking, it took a long time. They had to go to Bethlehem because the country’s ruler said they had to. But it was all part of God’s plan. That is one thing that Joseph and Mary learned on their journey.
What new journeys did you take this past year?
Guide our journeys wherever they take us, holy God.
SOAP JOURNAL NOTE
Setting the Stage | Jess Howell
These verses are setting the stage for the greatest story of our time. Without these critical points, the prophecy wouldn’t have been fulfilled. The prophecy stated the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and would come from the line of David, and both Joseph and Mary fell into that line. The timing when the decree was called was ordained, and the journey was likely agony for Mary. But God always has a plan, even when it seems untimely, uncomfortable and unlikely.
I’ve questioned God about His timing this week. You could certainly call it an uncomfortable journey as many times I didn’t want to be where I was or having conversations I never believed I would have. But looking back on the last 7 days, I see His hand in it all. The energy and words that I had were spirit-led, not my own. My family leaned on me when they were hurting, and I was hurting myself. But again I could feel His hand. I will never forget this week and what God’s taught and shown me.
Father God, the sorrow and hurt that I’ve experienced this week certainly wasn’t anything I would have hoped for, but looking back, it is something that I know You prepared me for. Thank You for Your hand in the timing of EVERYTHING in my life and the life of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.
Posted on December 24, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Advent, Bethlehem, Bible, Bible Study, Christmas, grief, Jesse Tree, Jesus, joseph, Luke, Mary, SOAP, sorrow, timing, uncomfortable. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.