For those who don’t get our family’s e-newsletter, here’s this month’s article!
Dinnertime is an important time for families! Here is a list of 25 items to talk about during family dinnertime discussions this month. There is one for each day, starting today (December 1st) and concluding on Christmas Day. These questions are designed to be done when the whole family is together.
If your family completes this challenge, email us after Christmas, and we will send you a free copy of your choice of either Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends, Before You Meet Prince Charming, or Will Our Generation Speak? 🙂 (If you start a day or two late, that’s fine, as long as you complete all 25. Also, the time of day is flexible. The “deeper” questions are optional.)
1) What is your favorite Christmas carol and why?
Deeper: Which Christmas carols best explain the gospel?
2) Christmas is much more than a birthday—it is a coming! What is the difference between a “birthday” and a “coming”? Why is it important to make this clear?
Deeper: What could be some of the negative effects of referring to Christmas as a birthday?
3) When we wish people a “Merry Christmas,” what are we actually wishing them? Make a list of 10 things to help families have a true merry Christmas. (After making a list, see some ideas at the end of this email.)
Deeper: What is the difference between what the world thinks is a “ Merry Christmas” and a true “Merry Christmas”?
4) What is your first Christmas memory? What is your best Christmas memory?
Deeper: What is something that God taught you at Christmastime in the past?
5) What is your favorite Christmas tradition in our family? Can you think of any new traditions we could start this year that would help us to focus even more on Christ?
6) What does the word “Incarnation” mean and why is it so important? (John 1:14) How would we explain the Incarnation to someone who had never heard?
Deeper: Here is a suggested project. Print out the Christmas account from Matthew and Luke (download here). Ask people if they have read the Christmas account in the Bible yet this year, and ask them if they would like a copy. See how many you can give away as a family this month.
7) In what way is a Christmas card similar to an angel? Is there someone in particular who would be blessed by a surprise Christmas card from us this year?
Deeper: Why do you think God used a star in Matthew (Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10) and an angel in Luke (Luke 2:8-15) to announce the birth of Christ?
8) Why did Jesus have to be born as a baby? Why couldn’t He have come as a grown man?
9) Who is a person or family in need that we could reach out to this Christmas season? What could we do for them?
Deeper: How did the shepherd’s respond to the angel’s message? How can we imitate them today?
10) How do people in the world today demonstrate the same attitude as King Herod? How do people respond like the wise men?
Deeper: What wicked Old Testament King played an important role in the Christmas story (Isaiah 7-9)? Why did God offer what He did?
11) Read Luke 2:19. What do you think were some of the things Mary was pondering in her heart?
Deeper: In Jesus’ own words, why did He say He came? What verses can you find?
12) Read the story of Anna (Luke 2:36-38). What can we learn from her example?
Deeper: Why did Jesus come when He did? Why didn’t He come earlier or later in history?
13) What is your favorite Christmas gift you ever gave? What are some good aspects of giving Christmas presents? What can be some negative aspects of it?
Deeper: Can you think of any times in Scripture when the Israelites sent presents to each other? (See answers at the bottom of this email.)
14) What are the ways that Jesus’ birth was specifically humble?
Deeper: How are Jesus’ first and second coming different?
15) What Christmas ministry has our family been involved in over the years? How have we seen God work?
Deeper: Why is it better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35)? What is an example of a time we saw this concept to be true in our family?
16) How can each one of us be like the star? What was the star’s purpose? How can we fulfill that same purpose?
Deeper: What did the star in the Christmas account ultimately represent? (Numbers 24:17, Revelation 2:28, 22:16)
17) What does the name “Emmanuel” mean and why is it important?
Deeper: When was the last time in Israel’s history that there was a command to kill baby boys? Can you think of any other similarities between these two times in history?
18) Read and discuss Micah 5:2. What does the word Bethlehem mean?
Deeper: Why do you think God arranged for Jesus to be born in that particular town and a town with that name?
19) What is the first Christmas verse in the Bible? (See answer at the bottom of this email.)
Deeper: Which of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob) prophesied the coming of Christ? (See answer at the bottom of this email.)
20) What are some ideas of things we could do for our neighbors this Christmas?
21) Why is Jesus the Prince of Peace?
Deeper: How many names can you think of for Jesus and what do they mean? What do the names of Christ listed in Isaiah 9:6 tell us about some of the roles He fills?
22) What is a fun family memory from Christmas?
Deeper: How do we know that the angels and the wise men did not come at the same time? (There are at least 2 reasons.) Was the star in the east or the west?
23) How many different people are mentioned in the accounts of the Christmas story in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2? Name them all. Pick one person and share something that we can learn from them.
Deeper: What prophecies can you think of that were fulfilled at Jesus’ birth? (Genesis 3:15, Genesis 49:10, Numbers 24:17, Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, Micah 5:2)
24) Why did God name the baby Jesus rather than allowing Joseph to choose a name for Him?
Deeper: What are two reasons Joseph was told to name the child “Jesus”? (See answer at the bottom of this email.)
25) Without looking, what were the “good tidings of great joy”?
Deeper: Why was Jesus’ birth “glory to God in the highest”?
Also, we will be tweeting the daily question(s) from @BrightLightsMin and @TFInc.
I love how Malachi 3:16-17 reminds us that the Lord is listening to our conversations!
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.
‘They shall be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’” Malachi 3:16-17
Question 3: Honor Christ, Read Scripture, Make Christmas “merry” for someone else, Sing carols, Witness, Give generously, Be excited about the coming of Christ!
Question 13: Esther 9:22, Nehemiah 8
Question 19: Genesis 3:15, Genesis 49:10
Question 24: 1) It means salvation and Jesus would save His people from their sins. 2) It is the same name as Joshua who delivered the people and brought them into the Promised Land.