Happy Christmas Eve Everyone!
During the week of Christmas we have created a special set of readings for the Daily. Over the course of this week we will be taking a break from our readings in 2 Corinthians and be looking at several other areas of scripture which point to the importance of the Christmas season. The importance is that God came to live among us by taking on flesh. We hope you have time to slow down to focus on the incarnation of Christ.
Todays reading is one of the most well known sections of scripture next to John 3:16. For two millennia we have sung and worshiped that God has come in the flesh and made Himself low. Charles Spurgeon capture the joy of this moment when he says. "Tell me that God is born, that God Himself has espoused our nature, and taken it into union with Himself, then the bells of my heart ring merry peals, for now I may come to God since God has come to me." After generations of silence God has come to us so that we might know us, but He doesn’t come with trumpets and fan fare. He comes in a manger. His arrival is not announced to the mighty and the dignified, but to the shepherds. God is made low so that even the lowest in stature of our society might access the king of kings. A God who was once on high and out of reach may now be approached. What joy this brings.
The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.
CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?
SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER (In large group)
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
+ WHAT are some of the main ideas that emerge from these verses?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ When the angel appeared in vs. 9 what happened?
_ What does the angel bring in vs. 10? Who is it for?
_ Unto who is born a savior in vs. 11?
_ What was the shepherds response in vs. 15?
_ What did the shepherds do after seeing the baby?
PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_The angel speaks of great news that is for all people. This is the peace of Christmas. That God has come for all people. Not just the high and mighty, but even some such as shepherds. Who in your life can you share this with today that may not know the great news.
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)