Monday, December 8, 2014

"So this is Christmas?!"

Each year since I arrived at Sardis, I have had the pleasure of spending a Sunday morning during Advent with our wonderful confirmation students and their parents. It has become a tradition for me to administer a “Christmas Quiz” that I found in a Youth Idea Book. The quiz tests our knowledge of what really happened at Christmas. In all these years, no one has ever recorded a perfect score. 

Let me give you a few examples from the quiz, so you can test your knowledge.

1. As long as Christmas has been celebrated, it has been on December 25th.  (true or false)

2. Joseph was from:   a. Bethlehem  b. Jerusalem  c. Nazareth

3. How did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem?  a. donkey  b. walked  c. who knows?

4. What did the innkeeper tell Mary and Joseph?
a. “There is no room in the inn”  b. “ I have a stable  you can use”  c. neither a nor b

5. What is a manger?   a. stable  b. hay storage bin  c. feeding trough

6. Which animals does the Bible say were present at Jesus’ birth? 
a. cows, sheep, goats  b. sheep and cows only  c. neither a or b

7. Who saw the “star in the sky”?    a. shepherds  b. Three Kings  c. neither a or b

8. How many angels spoke to the shepherds?   a. one  b. three  c. a multitude

9 How many wise men came to see Jesus?  (put in correct number)

10. Where did the wise men find the baby Jesus?   a. manger  b. stable  c. house

11. Who told Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem?  a. the angel  b. Herod  c. Caesar Augustus

12. Where in the Bible do we find the Christmas story?  (name the Gospel writers who include the story of Christmas)

Each year, after taking the quiz, it dawns on the confirmation students and their parents that much of our Christmas knowledge comes from Hallmark Cards, Christmas carols, and church plays and pageants, but not from the Bible. So, just in case you missed a question or two why not take some time this Advent and read the real story of Christmas, which we can only find in the Bible.  I suggest Matthew 1:18 through 2:12 and Luke 2:1-20.

Here are the answers, just in case you might be wondering:
1. False.  Not until the 4th Century did it settle on the 25th of December.
2. A    Bethlehem.
3. C    No one knows, the Bible never says a word about how they traveled.
4. C   The innkeeper did not say a word to Mary and Joseph.
5. C    A feeding trough.
6. C   No one Knows, the Bible never says a word about the animals in the stable.
7. C  The Bible says wise men, not kings.
8. A  One angel spoke, the multitude of heavenly host said praises afterward.
9. You should have left blank.  The Bible does not say how many.
10. C  In a house.
11. C  The Emperor Augustus.
12. Only Matthew and Luke.

May we all experience anew this year the joy of Christmas at the birth of our Savior!

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