What I’m Learning about Christmas from my Japanese friends

Today was our third Christmas English Bible Class…thirteen ladies came. We did our English lesson, and then began working on our second Christmas craft –a fabric wreath. Here’s the wreath– it’s fun and fairly painless! I’m enjoying seeing what all the wreaths will look like with different Christmas fabric…
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In studying the real story of Christmas, this week we looked at Luke 2:1-7… Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem because of the census…and Mary needing to deliver a baby…and no room in any inns, so they delivered the baby in a manger. A story some of us have heard so many times…

Near the end of the study, the ladies shared with a partner what they’ve learned from this story about God.
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Our neighbor friend, Naoko, shared that she always assumed that Jesus’ parents were really poor and that was why he was born in a manger…another friend Naomi said that she always had this image of God that He’s a tyrant and who tells people to go here or go there; to go to heaven or hell. Hearing this story, she was touched to realize that her image of God was wrong. That God became just like us… with an incredibly normal birth….that Jesus actually was a little baby, born in a dirty stable. God became like us, and knows all about the ins and outs of daily life. That is the incarnation. It’s really something to read the Christmas story through the lenses of people who’ve never heard the story, and experience with them the wonder of it all.

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