Christmas Incarnation
A 4-week Advent Bible study series

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
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Van Hornthorst, Adoration of the Children (1620)
Gerard (Gerrit) van Honthorst (1590-1656), Adoration of the Children (1620), Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Italy. Larger image.
The coming of God into this world to be a man must figure among the greatest events in all human history. Yet in our over-Christmased culture we have trivialized the true Nativity Story in favor of images of Santa and gushings about the warmth of the true Christmas spirit.

This four-week series is designed to help Christians reconnect with the real meaning of Christmas by considering one-by-one the main characters of the Christmas story:

  1. Mary
  2. Joseph
  3. The Shepherds
  4. The Wise Men

Each was a disciple of Jesus -- St. Mary, the first disciple, followed by each of the others who recognized this newborn as the Messiah and reordered their lives around Him as a result.

This is an old story -- one you've heard in countless sermons. But reexamining it in thoughtful detail from Scripture will help you re-experience its power and truth.


Available in e-book, printed book, DVD formats

Christmas, of course, is not at its core about spiced cider, gaily-wrapped presents, and shining ornaments. It is about the incarnation, the in-fleshment of the Son of God as a human being. This story did not take place in a decorated villa of Nazareth or a sterilized stable in Bethlehem. The story unfolded among real people whom God called for a purpose beyond themselves -- and who responded, "Yes," when called. It is a story of discipleship and risk. Of faith and hope. Of intimate, caring love and bold never-to-turn-back decisions. The true story of Christmas has the power to re-ignite living faith in you and deepen the quality of your discipleship.

You can participate in this study in several ways:

Why don't you sign up right now for the online Bible study, so you can receive the first lesson via e-mail this coming Friday. Reprint information.

Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
This is our 26th online Bible study since 1996. If you've participated in one before, you know how God can use them in your life. If not, then you have a treat in store for you. I am an ordained American Baptist pastor, currently ministering in a Covenant congregation. I'm here to serve you as your guide to the book of Psalms. --. Dr. Ralph F. Wilson. About the leader.
 

Here's how we'll study together.

  • Each Saturday I'll e-mail you the lesson for the week. Then you'll read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better.
  • On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use it to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly over these weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
  • You can respond to the questions and exercises using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
  • With each lesson you'll receive a link to a 20- to 30-minute audio teaching that sums up the passage you've been studying that week. Some who learn better from hearing than from reading really appreciate this.
  • Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.

"Excellent way to 'slow down' during Advent season and to prepare your heart to welcome the King." - Charlotte Flowers
"Biblical exegesis was outstanding giving depth to the study." - Jeff Hawley
"Explores the events in a way that gives new insights into how and why things happened." - Richard Breadner
"Used part of the lesson for my Junior High Sunday school class." - George Babaz
"Puts real people and their feelings and reactions into the Christmas story." - Jen Rosamond
"Great for a small group Bible Study just before Christmas." - James Mandracchia
"This study changes the nativity scene on my table to the relevant and personal arrival of our Savior." - Linda Bowes
"Explanations of Jewish customs of that time and details of the historical setting of the Christmas story brought out things I've never fully understood before." - Jeanne Clark
"These lessons do much to relieve us of the sorry 'Christmas Card mentality.'" - Elvira Reeves
"Insightful, wonderfully-paced study of God's word." - Adriane Burbridge
"Helped me think of Mary and Joseph as real people." - Roberta Gabor  
"Exceptionally well-researched and written." - Robert Crane
"My attention was constantly drawn to the divine dimension of the baby Jesus." - Richard Wabula
"The in-depth-ness of the truth of the word regarding Mary, the loving mother of Jesus, I found especially profound, something rarely spoken of in Protestant circles." - Rose Kallmyer
"I love that Dr. Wilson has overcome the 'denominational' viewpoint." - Tomi Inglis
"The study wasn't a 'reconnect' with the real meaning of Christmas, but a first-time view of the participants at the birth of Christ." David Gilbert
"During the week when my family was all together, I read it aloud to them. By the third lesson, my college-age sons were saying to me, 'When are we going to do the Christmas devotional?'" - Susan Maxon
"Thoughtfully remembers a well-known story in a fresh and personal way." - Tascha Raymond

Why don't you sign up today -- and then encourage some of your friends to sign up and study along with you.

Sign up now!

To sign up, start by clicking on your e-mail frequency preference:

You'll receive your first lesson the Friday after you sign up. There is no cost to participate in the study, though donations are encouraged so we can create more studies and reach more people.

We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.

Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. There's no penalty, but each of them is pretty intensive. If you try to do too many studies at the same time without adequate reflection, you'll miss out on God speaking to you.


Christmas Incarnation

Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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