November 26, 2010 – January 7, 2011


Who is Jesus? Why does a virgin birth matter? All I see around me is brokenness, sadness, and grief – where can I find hope? These are all questions we can address during the Advent and Christmas season by studying the opening chapters of Matthew’s gospel. In this Groundwork series we review the stories about John the Baptist and Christ’s birth through Jesus baptism and temptation, just before the start of his earthly ministry, to learn more about who Jesus is, our spiritual needs, and where we find hope.

Episodes in this Series

Matthew November 26 , 2010

Preparing the Way

This Sunday begins Advent, the Christian season of waiting and anticipation. To prepare our hearts for Christmas, let’s examine the Christmas story as found in the book of Matthew. This week we look at John the Baptist and his role in preparing the world for Christ’s birth. So with John the Baptist as our guide, let’s dig in to scripture and be honest with ourselves about who we are and our deepest spiritual needs.

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Matthew December 3 , 2010

God's Family Tree

This week we continue our Advent preparations by digging into the first part of Matthew chapter 1 –Jesus’ family tree. When is the last time you read this portion of scripture? Biblical names can be hard to pronounce and lists are boring, so it’s easy to jump ahead to the story. But can we learn anything about Christ from a list of names?

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Matthew December 10 , 2010

Why the Virgin Birth?

Does it matter if the virgin birth is literal or not? Advances in science always bring Christians back to the Bible to reevaluate and reaffirm its truth. God became man in Christ and was born of Mary, a human. Yet Matthew is careful to record that Mary is young and that she has not yet had an intimate relationship with Joseph. Why is Mary’s virginity such an important fact in Matthew’s Gospel? Does it still hold that same importance for us today?

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Matthew December 17 , 2010

Bethlehem - Then & Now

We’ve all experienced broken relationships or division in community at some time in our lives. As Christmas approaches, we often become acutely aware of these realities. We often feel intense sadness and longing as we prepare for joyous celebrations. Even Bethlehem, the town of Christ’s birth, is not exempt from brokenness and longing. Where can we find hope? Special Guest: Maram Abufarha

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Matthew December 24 , 2010

Real Christmas

Christmas and holiday spirits are high, but the happiness and joy surrounding celebrations and Christ’s birth can be a sharp contrast to the reality of our lives. Sorrow and pain are accentuated at Christmastime too. We feel loss or separation more acutely. These contrasts are also present in the story of Christ’s early life found in the book of Matthew. What part of the real Christmas do we leave out as we retell the wonderful story of Christ’s birth? Special Guest: Dhan Khatiwoda

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Matthew December 31 , 2010

Making Sense of Jesus - Jesus' Baptism

Jesus, everybody knows of him, but does everyone give the same answer about who he is? Many religions can agree that he lived and even that he was a great man. But is that enough? As we read more of Matthew’s account of Jesus and his life, he reveals more information about Jesus’ identity. So who is Jesus?

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Matthew January 7 , 2011

Making Sense of Jesus - Jesus' Temptation

Temptation might be the one thing that has never been affected by the passing years. In fact, it actually changes with the times. It adapts itself for each individual person. Not even Jesus was free from temptation’s reach. What is really behind temptation? What makes it so resilient that we can't get rid of it? How do we fight temptation in our own lives?

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