Christmas is about giving. God started it all when He gave His Son Jesus 2,000 years ago.
The Discussion Starter:
WestJet is a Canadian-based, low-cost airline that flies to almost 90 destinations throughout North America and Europe. They’re also one of the most-talked-about companies on social media due to an outrageously extravagant giving exercise their employees pulled off this season.
Basically, passengers flying on their airlines had the chance to check-in at a kiosk in the terminal, and a “live” Santa would interact with them and ask them what they wanted for Christmas. Passengers thought it was a really neat idea…until they landed at their destination.
Then they thought it was an incredible idea!
Several teams of WestJet employees raced around town purchasing and wrapping the various gifts that their customers had listed at the kiosk. When the passengers arrived at the baggage claim…they had an exceptional surprise waiting for them.
What makes this generosity so special is that WestJet isn’t really one of the “big” airlines. They’re actually quite small compared to most other airlines. But everybody, even the little guys, can get in the Christmas spirit and give.
The Video Clip:
You can find the clip at the following link: http://distractify.com/people/westjet-christmas-miracle/
What a really cool idea, huh? A lot of people have never even heard of WestJet; after all, it’s not like they’re Southwest or Delta or one of the other big guys. That just goes to show you don’t have to be the biggest or best to make a big difference. When I watched this clip, the first thing I thought about was how Christmas puts most people into a spirit of giving. It’s not like WestJet would think about doing this in July on some random Tuesday. No, they did it during Christmas, which is a season of giving. That’s what Christmas is about, though, isn’t it? Christmas is about giving. God made it that way when He gave His Son Jesus 2,000 years ago. Let’s talk about that initial Gift from so long ago and how He’s responsible for every other gift that’s been given since.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HEREfor a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite Christmas gift we’ve ever received.
- ASK A FEW: OK, I gotta ask…if you were flying with WestJet that day, what would you have asked for?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think the passengers were so surprised when their flights landed and they received their gifts? How would you have felt if this happened to you?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think the folks at WestJet did this? What was their motive?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think other airlines (like Delta, SouthWest, United, etc.) think of this video? Do you think we’ll see more videos/projects like this next Christmas?
- ASK A FEW: Why is it that people get into a “giving” spirit when Christmas rolls around?
- ASK A FEW: How would our world be different if the generous spirit of Christmas giving existed in every month?
- ASK A FEW: Without a doubt, this Christmas project cost WestJet a ton of money to pull off. How much did Christmas cost God?
Read the following passage:
ASK A FEW: How would you have felt if all the things that happened to Joseph happened to you?
ASK A FEW: Immanuel means “God with us.” When God sent Jesus to Earth what He was really doing was sending His only Son. How do you think that made God feel?
ASK A FEW: The angel told Joseph that Mary was going to have a baby and that His name was going to be Jesus. But what did the angel say Jesus’ purpose was?
ASK A FEW: How did Jesus save people from their sins?
SAY: What we’re seeing is that WestJet’s Christmas project might have been very expensive, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the price God and Jesus both paid to pull off the very first Christmas. God sent His Son Jesus to Earth and Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. Those are two very extravagant gifts. Let’s read one more passage to see how Jesus wants you and I to live in light of His gift to us.
Read the following passage:
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
ASK A FEW: When Jesus sends out His disciples, He tells them to do lots of things, but He ends by saying “you have freely received, so freely give.” Why does He say that?
ASK A FEW: How does it make God feel when we choose to be generous with others?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is one way you can freely give this Christmas season to please God?
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
When it comes to viral videos, WestJet rocked it! Their public stunt was a gesture of generosity that not only changed the lives of the people who flew on their jets that day, but it also caused every person who saw the video to consider how generous they are.
But when it comes to generosity, WestJet can’t hold a candle to God. We’re told in the Bible that God gave His one and only Son, Jesus, to save His people from their sins. That’s really good news. Unfortunately, the only way for Jesus to save us from our sins was by dying on the cross in our place. That means that Christmas has cost God more than any other person – or company – in the world.
But our God wasn’t just generous with us; He commanded us to be generous with others, as well. We looked at a passage during our time together in which Jesus said for us to give freely because we have received freely. That doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.
Of course, not everyone will sign up for this task – not even everyone who calls Jesus, “Lord.” But those who do commit to freely giving because they have freely received will no doubt have their lives changed as they change the lives of those around them.
I hope that you will freely give of yourself at all times, not just at Christmas. I also hope that you will freely give of yourselves because you have ALREADY received…and not hoping you will receive something else.
If you’re willing to do that, it will connect you with God in a powerful way. Christmas cost God everything. What will you allow it to cost you for someone else?
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith