|NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curriculum and additional resources for all age groups.
This week's Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies for Life curriculum.
Bible Passage: Acts 17:16-31
Discussion Question: How do I connect with people who are different from me?
Food for Thought:
A restful Thanksgiving on Thursday is followed by the insane frenetic "Black Friday" shopping experience that some people regard as fun. Whether you ventured out or stayed home, one thing's for certain: The Christmas season is here.
Oops. Maybe it should simply be called the holiday season, not Christmas.
Hmmm. How do we connect with or carry on a conversation with people who don't celebrate Christmas? They may celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanza or they may just engage in the revelry of exchanging gifts, but they don't celebrate Christmas. Some Christians adopt an "in your face" attitude, as if Christians had the season first. It's certainly good to keep Christ the focus of the holidays, but some Christians may be wearing their "Keep CHRIST in Christmas" buttons while they claw and fight over this year's got-to-have toy or gadget.
We can bemoan the change in focus or the secularization of our society, but what if instead we found a way to build bridges to people who see the holiday different from us? If the message of Christmas is that Jesus Christ came to earth to connect with us and bring us to God, maybe we should find ways to connect with others so that we can bring them to Jesus Christ. This week's study from Acts 17 will give you a good background for considering this very idea. Continued...