November 27 – December 3
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Sometimes the innocent joy of Christmas experienced by children becomes a tired cynicism of the season when we become an adult. We can still find the beauty and excitement of Christmas. It will not come by believing in a season, but a Savior.
Gracious Holy God, prepare our hearts. Open them to receive your grace and love. Allow us to experience the awe and mystery of your incarnation. To transform our worry and toil into hope as we expectantly wait for the miracle of the birth of our savior, Jesus.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
These questions are created from the pastor’s sermon notes each week for the use of our groups that meet to discuss the sermons together.
- In the sermon, we heard about Ted Lasso. What does the word BELIEVE mean to you? What does this word touch in us and what did you feel when you saw the sign?
- Read John 1:14. When God became flesh, God made a choice to be with us, this is something we can believe in. So why is it so hard? Why does it feel like we grab hold of this belief for four or five weeks but by January, it’s disappeared, and we are out looking for signs of God’s presence again?
- The point of Jesus’ incarnation is not that you believe in God. The point of the incarnation is that God believes in you. If God believes in you that much, that God would become flesh, what is God asking you to do?
- When have you felt cynicism creep into your thoughts this week? What brought you back the beauty and excitement of the true meaning of Christmas?
Do you want to have a good Christmas? Get up every morning and say, by the grace of God, Jesus Christ believes in me! And if Christ believes in you, maybe God’s right and you can do the things that you know you should do and that you long to do. You can be kind and just. You can seek reconciliation. You can offer hope to the hopeless and you can love. That is something to believe in!
- Read John 1:1-18 together as a group
- Watch the BibleProject video of John 1:1-18 with your group and discuss it
- Take a moment to slow down and enjoy an Advent meditation
- Watch the Daily Lift
- Watch the Sunday Sermon
- Traditional: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
- Modern: Angels from the Realm of Glory (Emmanuel)
Did You Know?
- The history of Advent and the United Methodist Church
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.