Session 1 Summary: Silent Treatment
You’ve heard of the silent treatment, right? If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of the silent treatment then you know it’s confusing, hurtful, and just no fun at all. Have you ever felt like you were getting the silent treatment from God? You’ve prayed for something and felt like you never heard Him respond. You’ve been in a hard situation or have questions about things happening around you, and it seems like God is nowhere to be found. If you’ve ever felt that way about God, I’ve got some news for you—you’re not alone! In fact, lots of people in the Bible felt this way, too. As the Old Testament came to a close, believers in God were left with hundreds of years of what seemed like silence before His work in the New Testament began. But as we look at the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, we’ll see that even though God seemed silent, He was working on behalf of His people all along. Christmas was coming!
Even when God is silent, He’s up to something.
GOAL OF DISCUSSION
To help us understand that even when it seems like God is silent, God is right beside us, working through our difficult circumstances.
Matthew 1:16 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
Galatians 4:4 New Living Translation (NLT)
4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.
God, thank you for sending us your son. Help us to trust in you, even when we are not sure of your presence in our situations and circumstances. Forgive us when we get frustrated and impatient with you. Remind us that you are working even when you are silent. In your name we pray, AMEN.
Use this simple blessing with your family, while you bless one another, mark the cross on the forehead of each member as a reminder of your baptism.
(Name), you are a Child of God.
WE'RE TEACHING THIS
When it comes to Christmas, there is a lot to look forward to. Candy canes, tinsel, twinkling lights, and—oh, right. The gifts. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably spent some time thinking about the gifts you’re hoping to receive this Christmas. Maybe you’ve even made a list so your friends and family know exactly what to give you. But while it’s fun to unwrap a gift you’ve been waiting and hoping for, have you ever been given a gift that took you entirely by surprise? A gift you didn’t even know you wanted until you opened it? A gift that was completely unexpected? Unexpected gifts have been at the heart of the Christmas story for more than two thousand years, beginning with the very first Christmas. And believe it or not, it was God who began the tradition. For the next few weeks, we’ll talk about three times God surprised the world with a gift that was entirely unexpected. And, as we do, we might just discover how much those gifts continue to matter today.
THINK ABOUT THIS
By Autumn Ward
One night last December, I found myself sitting at the kitchen table making Christmas cookies – by myself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that was not the plan. That was not our tradition.
Now that my kids are teenagers with busy schedules of their own, no one else was home but me. So there I sat, clinging to my tradition, making cookies alone – and feeling pretty sad about the whole thing. (I’m sure I let everyone know how sad I was when they got home.)
One thing parenting has taught me about traditions is that they are easy to start and hard to let go. So what happens when the kids get older and you find yourself experiencing more transition than tradition?
The first thing I had to do was accept that transition is a part of life. It’s evidence that my kids are growing up and growing up is a good thing. It’s ok that they don’t want to watch Frosty the Snowman or make ornaments out of felt anymore. Now that they’re college and high school age their interests have changed – they are transitioning. Knowing that, if we want to stay connected with our kids, tweaking a tradition or even starting a new one needs to happen.
Second, their dad and I had to decide which traditions were worth clinging to and which ones we needed to let go. We did this by simply asking the kids which traditions meant the most to them. This helped so much! I was surprised by some of the things they said, like getting a peppermint milkshake in our PJs while driving around looking at Christmas lights had to stay. That one still gets two thumbs up! Making the gingerbread house on the other hand…it could go. (And while we’re at it, the Christmas cartoons could go too!) Whoknew? They knew! Deciding on traditions with the kids gave us permission to let go of some things – guilt free – and stop trying to force moments to happen that they had outgrown.
What is this?
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