The coming of a new baby caught Mary, Joseph and Elizabeth unaware. Each of them had to choose to respond to God – and each chose to say ‘yes’. As we celebrate the Christmas season, we too have the opportunity to encounter God afresh.
Engage with God’s Word
Read [bible]Luke 1:5-38[/bible], [bible]Matthew 1:18-25[/bible].
- Mary was excited about her coming wedding, then God broke into her world and everything changed. She chose to lay down her dreams and goals for what God was doing. Is there something God is asking you to let go of? What does it mean for you to obey Him?
- Joseph’s reaction to the news of Mary’s pregnancy changed from wanting to get out of a messy situation to choosing to embrace, lead and protect those God entrusted to him. How has God broken into your circumstances and changed your heart? Is God showing you a new thing in this season?
- Elizabeth had accepted that she would not have children, a major disappointment for a woman in that time. How have you felt disappointment or sadness in your life? How might God be wanting to bring more to you this Christmas season?
Our lives have ups and downs, blessings and disappointments. How we tell our story to ourselves and to others can either open us or close us to what God is doing new, today. Consider how God may want to talk to you and how can you say ‘yes’ to Him.
Around 2,000 years ago God came to earth as a helpless baby boy. It was the moment that the ordinary became extraordinary. Through this simple act we see an incredible paradox, that Jesus calls us to become like him, who became like us.
Engage with God’s Word
Read [bible]Matthew 1:18-25[/bible], [bible]Philippians 2:5-11[/bible]
- Read Matthew 1:18-25. God the Creator chose to come to earth and engage human beings to bring about his full plan for humanity. What challenges you about this reality? What does it show of God’s character?
- The stable was not the pretty nativity scene that we so often see depicted on Christmas cards. It was smelly and messy and a very unlikely place for the Son of God to be born. What does this say to you about how God shows his love to us? What can we learn from this?
- Read Philippians 2:5-11. God chose humility as the pathway to connect with those he longed to save. What does humility look like for you? What do you need to change to become more like Jesus?
- Jesus taught his disciples to imitate him by showing love especially to those who least deserved it. How can we too show God’s love to those around us?
- We are called to become like Jesus, who became like us. Discuss.
God is calling each of us to say “Yes” to him and to step out in faith to demonstrate his love to those around us. Who can you invite into the celebrations this Christmas time to show the love of God in a practical way? Who needs to see the love and hope of Jesus through you?