Publish This

20161225-letters-1hbsPublish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
(Psalm 96.3, NLT)

If there was a fantastic event happening in your city this weekend, how would you know where and when the event was being held? Let’s say the circus was coming to town. You and your family love the circus and would love to attend, but how would you get the information you needed to do so?

Easy, you say. What with newspaper, radio, television, the Internet and social media, it might be hard NOT to be aware of the upcoming circus.

And while this has not always been the case, you would be right. The movable type printing press has been around since the mid-1400s, but recent technologies have created ways to more easily share a wealth of information:

  • The first radio news broadcast was aired in 1920.
  • The regularly scheduled news you watch nightly has only been around since 1950.
  • The first publicly available use of the Word Wide Web happened August of 1991.
  • Facebook, perhaps the most common way of receiving information today, first went online in 2004. (Twitter followed in 2006, Pinterest and Instagram in 2010, and the latest rage, Snapchat, has been around since 2011. By the time this is published, something else will probably be the “in” thing.)

It is no wonder people talk about information overload. Dissemination of information used to be in the hands of only a few, but now it can be accomplished by anyone. Today there will be over 3 million blog posts published from around 175 million blogs. If you checked Facebook today, you did so along with 1.6 billion other individuals. During the 10 seconds it takes you to read this sentence, over 60,000 tweets will have been published, which equates to roughly 500 million tweets per day.

The issue, therefore, is not finding something to talk about. It is talking about those things that really are important. It is about finding the good stuff in the midst of all of the other noise.

That’s why the psalmist’s words in Psalm 96 are so significant. Publish THIS news: God’s glorious deeds and his presence are among us. “Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!” (96.4)

When you think about the weight of these words on this day, Christmas Day, their significance becomes even more important. Away in a manger, as we sing, a small child was born who to anyone passing by might have seemed just another child or incredibly insignificant in a world full of newborns. Stop the presses, however. This child is important. He is the light that shines into the world (Isaiah 9.2) and the hope that brings salvation to all humankind (Titus 2.11). In a time when (too) many things are said, creating a distracted environment of indistinguishable noise, the birth of child needs to be the center of our conversation.

Indeed, he has done amazing things. Publish them to the entire world … and to the person sitting next to you. Praise his name.

Questions:

•How has the movement from expecting the light to come to the birth of Jesus to the salvation he offers impacted how you live your life today? How can you share this story of faith with others?

•Share with one another the ways you have seen God’s marvelous deeds in your life. How can you share these deeds with someone else today?

•Think of all of the names you can think of that are used to describe Jesus. Which one means the most to you and why?

•Share with one another your salvation has allowed you to say “No” to ungodliness. Why does the appearance of Jesus Christ give you hope?

•What is the most unexpected thing about Luke’s story of the birth of Jesus?

Week of Dec 25 – Text List

The 1 Home Bible Study texts for the week of December 25 are as follows:

Psalm 96
Isaiah 9:2-7
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-20

Daily Bible Reading Texts are:

Dec. 26 – Psalm 28, 30; 2 Chronicles 24:17-22; Acts 6:1-7
Dec. 27 – Psalm 97, 98; Proverbs 8:22-30; John 13:20-35
Dec. 28 – Psalm 2, 26; Isaiah 49:13-23; Matthew 18:1-14
Dec. 29 – Psalm 18:1-20; Isaiah 12:1-6; Revelation 1:1-8; John 7:37-52
Dec. 30 – Psalm 20, 21:1-13; Isaiah 25:1-9; Revelation 1:9-20; John 7.53-8.11
Dec. 31 – Psalm 46, 48; Isaiah 26:1-9; 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2; John 8:12-19