31 Dec Discussion Guide: Searching for Christmas Week 4
Take the first few minutes of your time together to listen to what God is doing in one another’s lives and pray for any specific needs people in your group may have.
This week we continue our Christmas series, Searching for Christmas. Over the next few weeks, as we draw nearer to the celebration of the coming of Jesus, we will be looking at the longing and the hope the story of Christmas arouses in the human heart. What is it that we are all so eager to experience, to know, to have? What is it that all the excitement and gifts and lights are ultimately pointing us to? Let’s find out together.
What hopes do you find yourself anticipating around Christmas time?
What fears, or concerns, do you find yourself anticipating around Christmas time?
DR. SEUSS, How The Grinch Stole Christmas
“Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
When we think about Christmas, do you think it is possible for the full reality and weight of God becoming man to become something we take for granted?
If so, how does that affect the way we view Christmas, as well as the way we live our lives throughout the rest of the year?
Amos 3:1-2, 11
“Therefore thus says the Lord God : “An adversary shall surround the land and bring down your defenses from you, and your strongholds shall be plundered.” Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.“”
What does it usually take to shake people out of that kind of “taking Christmas for granted” mentality?
What happens to our hopes and fears when those kinds of wake-up calls come?
Jesus, the Messiah, the God-Man, was born in a forgotten town, in an animal stable, laid in a food trough, his family had to flee to spare His life, He grew up in another forgotten town in adjunct poverty under the oppressive hand of the Roman empire. As an adult He continued to live in poverty and homelessness. He was eventually ridiculed, mocked, abused, beaten, and crucified. On that cross He lost the intimacy of the eternal relationship He had with the Father, not because of anything He had done, but in our place and on our behalf. That was the very reason He had come in the first place.
When we think of the Christmas story through that lens, how does it help us respond to those wake-up calls with true repentance rather than bitterness and hard heartedness towards God?
As we head into 2018, what is something you are hoping God will do in, or through, your life in the upcoming year?
Let’s pray for those things.
Pensamientos de Cierre
1 Juan 2:7-10
‘Amados, no les escribo un mandamiento nuevo, sino un mandamiento antiguo, que han tenido desde el principio. El mandamiento antiguo es la palabra que han oído. Por otra parte, les escribo un mandamiento nuevo, el cual es verdadero en El y en ustedes, porque las tinieblas van pasando, y la Luz verdadera (Jesucristo) ya está alumbrando. El que dice que está en la Luz y aborrece a su hermano, está aún en tinieblas. El que ama a su hermano, permanece en la Luz y no hay causa de tropiezo en él. ‘