Friday, December 21, 2018

The Christmas Gift


“I can't stand him! He's the one who left us. Why should I have to ruin my Christmas by spending it with him?” Jessica shouted at her mother through sobs.

“Darling, that was three years ago,” Helen said. She put her hand on her daughter's shoulder. “A lot has happened since then. We're different people now and happier too.”

“That doesn't make it right . He still left us,” Jessica countered.

Helen sat down beside Jessica. Your father needed work, and there was nothing here for him. He had to go somewhere he could feel useful and needed. I never believed he really wanted to leave us.”

“But he did leave us,” Jessica said. “And he never came back.”

You're right. But that doesn't mean he doesn't love you. Now he wants you to understand, to forgive him, and to get to know him again. Could you please forgive your father and go to his house for few days for Christmas? Helen asked sympathetically.

“ I suppose I never really understood why he  left, Mum.” Jessica thought for a moment, then  said, I don't really want to, but suppose I could spend part of my Christmas holiday with Dad.”

As Jessica reached for the phone , Helen smiled and said quietly. Perhaps forgiveness can your Christmas gift to your dad.”

Forgiveness can bring healing to people and relationships. Read Mark 2:1-12 to see how Jesus’ miracle resulted in forgiveness and healing.

Study Text
Mark 2:1-12
1NIV:A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
2NIV:They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.
3NIV:Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.
4NIV:Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.
5NIV:When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6NIV:Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,
7NIV:“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8NIV:Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9NIV:Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
10NIV:But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man,
11NIV:“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12NIV:He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Questions to Consider
  • How did Jesus’ and Jessica's forgiveness bring about healing?
  • Who needs a healing word of forgiveness from you?

Motion Points
  • Phoning someone you've not talked to for a long time because of a misunderstanding
  • Listing people you need to forgive, forgiving each person and the then performing an of service for each one to bring abouthealing.

Facts for Today
Most of Jesus's ministry took place around Lake Galilee (for example, see Mark 2:13-14). This lake is the words lowest freshwater lake, with a surface 207 metres below sea level. Despite the lake's prominence in Jesus’ ministry, it's only mentioned three times in the Old Testament ( Numbers 34:11, Joshua 12:3, Joshua 13:27)

Hymn for Today
Give Me Jesus by Fanny Crosby
Take the word, but give me Jesus;
All its Joys are but a name,
But His love abideth ever,
Through eternal years the same.

Refrain:
Oh, the height and depth of mercy!
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption,
Pledge of endless life above

Take the wold, but give me Jesus,
Sweetest comfort of my soul;
With my Savior watching o'er me,
I can sing, though billows roll.

Take the wold, but give me Jesus;
Let me view his constant smile;
Then throughout my pilgrim journey
Light will cheer me all the while.

Take the wold, but give me Jesus;
In His cross my trust shall be,
Till, with clearer, brighter vision
Face to face my Lord I see.

Further Study
  • Psalm 130
  • Hebrews 12:14-15
  • Luke 5:17-26

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