Christmas often brings so much hope and promise…the family will finally be together, I’ll actually get that something I’ve been wanting all year, the turkey won’t be dry this time! Yet, the days or weeks after Christmas can leave us feeling a little let down, or maybe even depressed.  Someone in the family didn’t show up, the gift wasn’t under the tree and yep, the turkey could have doubled as one of those chew toys for dogs.  Ah….yes, Christmas!

So, maybe it shouldn’t be shocking that they days and months following the first Christmas were filled with let down, chaos and many questions.  What can we learn from the story after the story?  Let’s find out together.

Matthew 2:13-18

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” 

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:  18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” 

  1. After Jesus is born, we might expect there to be “peace on earth.” Isn’t that what was promised? However, what we see closely following the birth of Christ is quite the opposite of what we’d consider peaceful. Why do you think God coming to earth in the form of a man causes so much chaos or strife? 
  2. Perhaps you thought Jesus coming into your life would “make everything better.” We do experience joy, hope and, yes, peace, through Jesus, but it often comes in the midst of life’s less than ideal circumstances.  How does meeting Jesus change the way we see and interpret life’s events? 
  3. Are there things in your life that you need to re-evaluate after reflecting on this story?  Maybe you’ve felt that God was unfair to you or that Jesus “doesn’t work.” Does this story help you see that God may be working in ways that go far beyond our understanding?
  4. Points of Prayer:
  • Pray for God’s eyes to see our circumstances for what they really are.
  • Confess times when we’ve not allowed God to work in our lives because we’ve been too focused on ourselves and not what God is doing.
  • Thank God for all He’s done, even in the midst of trials and hardship.
  • Ask God for those things on your heart.  He cares about our lives and desperately wants to be involved so invite Him in.