December 12th

Story

While Joseph and Mary are in Bethlehem, the time comes for the baby to be born.

Activity

Eat dinner together by candlelight or Christmas lights.

Adult

The apostle Paul says Jesus himself is our peace. Jesus removed all the things that separate humanity from one another and from God and now offers his peace to others as a gift. Jesus’ followers are called to receive, keep, and cultivate this gift of peace, which requires humility, gentleness, patience, and love.

Read

Ephesians 2:11-15, 4:1-3, 4:29-32

Ephesians 2:11-15

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.


Ephesians 4:1-3

1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


Ephesians 4:29-32

29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Reflect

  • According to this passage, how did Jesus make peace between two sharply divided people groups (Jews and Gentiles), and why did he do it (see verse 2:16)?
  • Do you feel alienated from anyone in your life? Do you want to enjoy peace with this person again? Why or why not? Consider what Jesus did to make peace. What questions and emotions surface as you reflect on this?
  • Review Ephesians 4:1-3 carefully. How do you think humility, gentleness, patience, and love help to maintain the unity Jesus made for his followers? What happens when one of these virtues is missing? You can’t make choices for others, but what is one practical decision you can make today to cultivate peace?
  • Review Ephesians 4:29-32 closely. How has Jesus forgiven you? Who needs your forgiveness?