BEFORE YOU GATHER
- Familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Read Luke 2:1-20.
- CLICK HERE to watch a fantastic Bible Project video about Jesus’ birth from the Gospel of Luke.
- Sit in prayerful silence with God for a while, and ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything that he wants you to share during your group’s time together.
ADVENT RESOURCES FOR FURTHER GROWTH & DISCIPLESHIP
- (Family Resource) The Wonder of the Greatest Gift, by Ann Voskamp
- (Family Resource) The Tale of Three Trees, by Angela Elwell Hunt
- (Advent Bible Reader) Waiting Here For You, by Louie Giglio
- (Advent Bible Reader) Watch for the Light, by Multiple Authors
- (Gaining Christmas Context) Hidden Christmas, by Tim Keller
- (Video Resource) The True Christmas Story, by Ran Vander Laan
PRACTICES TO PREPARE ROOM FOR JESUS
- (Personal) Go low tech. Write yourself a note that says, “Prepare Him room,” or “Come Lord Jesus come,” or “Behold.” Affix the note to your alarm clock, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or someplace you will see it first thing in the morning and last thing before you go to bed. Invite Jesus into your day every morning and talk to Him about your day every evening.
- (Couples) Our culture has a tradition for mistletoe. Similarly, hang something above your doorways to announce Jesus’ birth, like an angelic host. When you find yourself under the angelic host with your spouse, take that moment to remind each other that – despite any fears or trouble – God is up to bigger things, and help is on the way.
- (Families) What would Jesus do? Spend time practicing your family traditions (or making new traditions) that emphasize Jesus priorities. Take some time to read Luke 2:1-20 together. Take joy in finding creative ways to give generously to others and worry less about what we’re getting for Christmas. Serve together in a soup kitchen or shelter. Take the time to make Christmas memories and traditions that honor Jesus.
- (Community Groups) As a community group, help each other make space for Jesus. Offer to watch each other’s kids during this busy time. Stop by each other’s homes with cookies or carols. Help each other with mundane tasks like raking leaves, and while you do it, talk about what God is doing in your lives. Be a community group that helps each other and talks about Jesus!
Opening Prayer: (1-5 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of how your group can invite God into your time together.
Open in prayer, asking God to:
- Minimize distractions and calm our hearts and minds.
- Open our hearts and minds to each other.
- Show us what we need to know from this text in this time.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
Have everyone take 30 seconds each to share a phrase or a moment from this weekend’s message that is still resonating with them. You also have the option to say “Pass.”
Large Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This weekend’s message came from Luke 2:1-20. If everyone has a Bible, let's go there together.
- The Christmas season is very busy, with so many things that have nothing to do with Jesus’ birth. What are some ways you’ve found to “prepare Him room,” to counter busyness and distractions so that you can intentionally make space for Him?
- Christmas shows us that God showed up, gave Himself to set things right. Yet He did it in the most unexpected way, in a manager in a stable. What does it mean to you that God is humble and approachable?
- Read 1 Corinthians 1:26 - 2:5. Sometimes we feel we must be worthy and ready before we can serve. How did Paul feel when he spoke to the Corinthians?
- God used the shepherds to bring the message of the birth of the Messiah. How were the shepherds seen in their day? Who are the shepherds in our 21st century culture? If God’s message was for people like them, then where do we have prejudice towards them – prejudice that God needs to deal with?
- Think about the phrases “good news” and “great joy.” What are some ways in our culture that we communicate our good news to others? What do our lives look like when we are full of great joy?
- Christmas Eve is a time when people are more receptive to going to church, but they need to be invited personally. Who do know needs to hear this message? Who will you invite?
CLOSING PRAYER (5-15 minutes):
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
Pray earnestly that:
- In this busy season, we would be intentional and make room for Him.
- As a community, we would remind each other what the season is about.
- As God’s messengers, we would not wait until we feel worthy or ready.
- In the moment, we would have courage to share our story and invite people to Christmas.