Christmas Eve (Matthew 1:1-17) | 5:00pm

December 24, 2021 • Ben Purves • Matthew 1:1–17

3. The Seed of the Woman Wins (Revelation 12)

December 26, 2021 • David Schrock • Revelation 12

Merry Christmas! At Easter, we declare “He is risen!” “He is risen, indeed!” And at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus because he is the risen Lord. Tonight (at 5:00pm and 7:00pm) and on Sunday (at 11:00am) we will gather to worship our Lord, the Son of God, who was born so that we could be born again. As you have time, let me encourage you to read Matthew 1 and Revelation 12, the two passages we will consider this weekend. You can also find a Christmas devotional on Matthew 1 here and Isaiah 7:14 here. In our Christmas Eve service, we will see how Christ fulfills the promises to Abraham, David, and Israel. At the same time, take time to invite a friend to join us tonight. It’s not too late, and the good news of Christ is too good not to share. Then, on Sunday, we will turn to Revelation to see how the seed of the woman has been born to defeat the devil. Thankfully, the message of Christmas does not end in Bethlehem (the house of bread), it ends in heaven (the house of God). And on Sunday, we will see how Christ’s ascension to heaven gives his people hope and strength here on earth. To that end, let's pray that God would strengthen his saints. In a world of moral darkness and omicron doom, I look forward to singing Christmas Carols with you tonight and recounting the ways that God has brought his light and salvation into the world. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions 1. As we come to the last sermon of the year, what book, truth, passage of Scripture has been (most) helpful for you in 2021? 2. How has seeing Genesis 3:15 run across salvation history helped you better understand the Bible? 3. When you read Revelation, what helps you understand it? How does recognizing its symbolism help you understand it? What about it’s dependence on the Old Testament? 4. How does keeping Christ at the center of Revelation help you see what the book is about? 5. What does Revelation 12 teach you about Christ and the spiritual warfare in our world? 6. Why is it best to understand the mother in Revelation 12 as the messianic community more than Mary alone? How do the promises of a pregnant mother prepare us for Christ’s birth? See Isaiah 7:10–14; 26:17–27:6; 52:1–10; 66:7–12. 7. What is the good news of Christ’s ascension? What happens in heaven when Christ took his seat at God’s right hand? 8. What happens on earth after Christ is raised to heaven? How does knowing what has happened in heaven give us strength? 9. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” As we conclude one year and anticipate another, take time to reflect on the promises of God. How do the promises of Christ’s victory give you assurance to walk in faith today?

Christmas Eve (Matthew 1:1-17) | 7:00pm

December 24, 2021 • David Schrock • Matthew 1:1–17

2. The Seed of the Woman is Born (Matthew 1-2)

December 19, 2021 • David Schrock • Matthew 1—2

This Sunday, we will take up that theme again, as we see the seed of the woman born in Bethlehem. As we will discover, Matthew is not shy about making connections between Jesus and the seed of the woman, nor is he quiet about the way Herod presents himself as serpentine ruler like Pharaoh whose opposition to Christ results in his own demise. In fact, as we will see in Matthew 1–2, the promise of Genesis 3:15 is fulfilled with remarkable precision. And as we celebrate the birth of Christ on Sunday, we will ponder these two chapters. In preparation, let me encourage you to read Matthew 1–2 and to pray for the fruitfulness of God’s Word. We will look at both chapters on Sunday as we worship the risen Christ who reigns on high. Additionally, if you would like to pick up a rubber serpent on Sunday, one you can add to your manger scene to celebrate Christ’s defeat of Satan, just let me know. I might know where to find one. I hope to see you on Sunday. For Christ’s Glory and your joy, Pastor David ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Discussion & Response Questions for Matthew 1-2 1. When you celebrate Christmas, what are some of themes that encourage you the most? 2. How does reading the birth stories in Matthew and Luke in light of the Old Testament adjust your thoughts about Christmas? 3. What are the ways in which Matthew 1 connects Jesus’s birth to Genesis? The seed of the woman? 4. What are the way in which Matthew 2 shows Herod to be the serpent’s seed? And a foe soon to be defeated? 5. How does reading Matthew 1–2 with the storyline of Scripture impact / change / increase your understanding of Christ’s birth? 6. How does the theme of God’s victory over evil encourage you? Strengthen your confidence? Or embolden you? 7. Does knowing the spiritual warfare present in the Bible discourage you or raise other questions? 8. In what ways does God call us to follow the path of Christ? (Hint: put the indicative before the imperative — before we can do, we must rest in what he has done) 9. What else have you learned about Christ, the church, or the world by seeing Jesus as the seed of the woman?