What Makes Christmas Merry?

Matthew 1:18–25

When a Christian Hedonist says, “Merry Christmas,” he means much more than a warm holiday with friends and family. In this lab, Pastor John reminds us what makes Christmas truly merry.

Principle for Bible Reading

Walking by Faith in Bible Study

How can you walk by faith when your Bible is open before you, but your mind wanders and heart is distracted? Applying “A.P.T.A.T.” to your time in God’s word may help:

  • A - Admit that you need God’s help to focus and be engaged. It might be helpful to cast all present anxieties on him before you begin your study (1 Peter 5:6–7).
  • P - Pray for help to not only understand God’s word but to be obedient to it (James 1:22).
  • T - Trust a specific promise. In this case, Paul’s words to Timothy may be helpful: “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Timothy 2:7).
  • A - Act by prayerfully reading, thinking, and meditating on truth.
  • T - Thank God for his word and for meeting you whether you feel like it was especially rich or not.

Study Questions

  1. What makes Christmas most merry for you?
  2. Matthew goes out of his way to emphasize that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Matthew 1:18–25. Why is this important?
  3. In Matthew 1:21 and Matthew 1:23, two names are ascribed to Jesus; what are they? Reflect briefly on each name and thank God that Jesus perfectly fulfills each name given to him.