Christmas Is Not Your Birthday Part 1: Waiting
On Sunday 29th November at our morning services, we started our new series Christmas Is Not Your Birthday with the topic 'Waiting'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
You are not able to listen to the talk this week, but you can read a summary of it here.
Talk Notes and Summary
There are things in our lives that we are waiting for. Right now all of us are waiting for Christmas, and for some of us we can’t wait, we are really looking forward to it, we wish it was tomorrow. For others of us we wish it wasn’t four weeks away, we wish it was four months away, because we haven’t got any presents, we haven’t even started to think about cards and decorations.
Right now many of us are waiting for something else and this is true whether we are a Christian or not. For some of us that waiting is driving us nuts, we want to know now, we want the outcome to arrive.
2,000 years ago people in a far flung part of the Roman empire were waiting. They believed that God had promised them a messiah, someone to lead them into a new a better relationship with God, someone to save them. They were waiting.
One of Jesus’ first followers a guy called Paul, wrote about this waiting. It is in a letter he wrote to a group of people living in Galatia, in the New Testament part of the Bible – Galatians chapter 4 verses 1 to 7. You can read that by clicking here.
They are waiting, they are slaves to religious laws and rituals (verses 1 to 3). Do you ever feel that way? Enslaved to something, monotony of life, pressures of culture and society, expectations of you from others and you long to be free?
Paul goes on in verses 4 and 5. When the time was right, the time God decided on, because God knows best. He sent his son – Jesus. To buy freedom for the slaves. To bring adoption into the family of God, and look at what that means verses 6 to 7. Paul says, we are no longer slaves, but sons of God. We are free, the waiting is over.
God’s timing is perfect. It might not always feel that way, particularly if you are waiting. But for the most important thing the waiting is over. When the time was right, God sent his son. That means the waiting for freedom, for relationship, for love is over. Sometimes we don’t understand why God isn’t stepping in to something we are waiting for. What we do know is that for the very most important thing, the waiting is over. And as we get towards Christmas remember this, the waiting is over, because when the time was right God sent his son.
Questions and Reflections (to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)
1. What are you waiting for in your life?
2. How good are you at waiting?
3. Do you believe that God’s timing is perfect? Is it always easy to waiting for his timing to be revealed?
4. What was the world waiting for before God sent his son?
5. How does sending his son mean that God gives us freedom?
6. Do you feel free?
7. How can you live in the light of the freedom that God brings?