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THEME: BE JOYFUL
With only seven days to go, we discuss ways to find the most important qualities of a meaningful Christmas. Join us to discover practical steps to find your joy.
Gracious and loving God, your grace abounds new each day. Help us to cultivate that joy that only comes from your Spirit. When we consider the awe of your creation, your salvation that you freely give, our hearts are lifted on wings like eagles. As we enter these days of anticipation, let us truly experience the joy that is made complete in you.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- Because it’s Christmas, we can rediscover the joy of finding ourselves as part of God’s story. Like a child’s joy when they are found in a game of hide-and-seek, Jesus brings joy to the world because he comes and finds us to give joy in the daily parts of life. How do you rediscover the joy in your life each Christmas?
- Watch Who Were the Shepherds? and answer these questions.
- When announcing the birth of Jesus, what were some of the reasons God chose the shepherds?
- What parallels do you see between the first-born lambs and Jesus?
- Joy is not dependent on circumstance. Joy finds its way into daily struggles, illness and sorrow.
- How do you find joy despite circumstance?
- What are some of the things that keep you from experiencing joy?
- Remember how you first discovered the joy of being found by God? When did you first feel the joy of the announcement, the invitation to come and see?
- For many of us, faith has come because someone else invited us to share in their joy.
- Who was the person or persons in your life?
- How can you be that person for others?
- Watch Who Were the Shepherds?
- Read and compare the birth narratives in Matthew 1-2 with Luke 2:8-15
- What are the differences?
- What are the similarities?
- Christian Mediation: The Joy of My Lord is My Strength
- The First Noel – Traditional
- Angels We Have Heard on High – Modern
- Silent Night – Floris UMC, Christmas Eve, 2019
- Watch the Daily Lift
Luke 2:8-15 NIV
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”