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Advent Discussion Guide

Advent 2020 | First United Methodist Church of Rockwall

Sent: Delivering The Gift of Hope At Christmas 

Session 3 — Sent: Jesus is God With Us

Scripture:
Matthew 1:23
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, God is with us.”

Luke 2:6-7
“While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her first born son, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Discussion

  1. What are your observations and take-aways from Justin’s story of Russell’s birth and NICU experience and Joe’s story of Corey’s birth and NICU experience?
  2. Have you ever felt “equally fragile” on the inside while the ”outside” appeared intact?
  3. What tangible reminders (the prayer blanket, the Zaky) do you have so that in hindsight, they allow you to see Jesus is God with us?
  4. When have you experienced Jesus is God with us in our pain? Read John 11:28-37. Why do you think Jesus wept here, but not in any other of the healing miracles? Have you ever felt the pain of others so deeply, you wept with no control of your emotions – it just came from someplace deep within you?
  5. Have you seen Jesus is God with us in our uncertainty and fear? Especially when we can’t control the outcome of our perilous circumstances or situations. Read Isaiah 41:10.
  6. When have you experienced Jesus is God with us in our waiting? Read Psalm 46:10. What does it mean to be “still”? Our Advent schedules and activities are curtailed due to the covid virus. How easy is it to exist with less hecticness in our lives? 
  7. When have you felt Jesus is God with us in our joy? Read John 16:21-22. How have you been changed by the pain, the uncertainty and fear, the waiting, and the joy? How and when do you experience joy? Moments? Seasons? Constantly? Do you distinguish between joy and happiness? 
  8. Read Matthew 5:14-16.

Closing Question: 
Where is God sending me to be the light of Christ today? 

Closing Prayer: 
O God, the one who is indeed with us in Jesus in all our days. Help us, in the moment and in hindsight, to see your presence and the ordering of our way as we journey closer to you. Deliver us from distractions and ominous paths as we journey to Bethlehem once again. Amen.