FAMILY AROUND THE WORLD
Christmas is best celebrated when we are surrounded by the ones we love. Through Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection, we are invited into the family of God. That means we are chosen. That means we belong!
Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. Describe your favorite family photo. Why is it your favorite and what memories do you have of that day?
2. When you think about your family of origin or your extended family, or your current family sitting around the Table this Christmas—what thoughts come to mind?
3. Read John 1:12-13. If you have believed in and accepted Christ, your family is so much bigger than your blood relatives. What is good about this? What is challenging?
4. Read Galatians 3:7-9.
◦ Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):
▪ Who is talking?
▪ What is the circumstance?
▪ Any repeated phrases?
▪ What surprised you?
▪ What stood out to you?
◦ Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean)
▪ What questions do you have?
▪ Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points?
▪ What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this?
▪ What do you learn about yourself and your choices?
◦ Now make some applications (what’s my response)
▪ How do you respond to what you are reading?
▪ How does this apply to your life?
▪ What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this?
▪ Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?
5. Read Romans 12:5. Author Eugene Peterson said, “There are Christians who say, “I love God but I hate the church.” But they are members all the same, whether they like it or not, whether they acknowledge it or not. For God never makes private, secret salvation deals with people. His relationships with us are personal, true; intimate, yes; but private, no… No Christian is an only child.”
◦ What is challenging or convicting about this?
◦ Do you tend to approach your faith like an only child, or like you belong to a greater family?
6. Read 1 John 2:9-11, 4:19-21.
◦ Why is loving God and hating our brother (or sister) in Christ incompatible?
7. Is there anyone in God’s family you are harboring bitterness, unforgiveness, or hatred toward? Take time this week to talk to God about this, repenting of this (turning from sin to God), and asking Him to help you abide in His love so that you might turn around and love others the way He does. (See 1 John 4:16).
Galatians 3:7-9 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
John 1:12-13 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Romans 12:5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
1 John 2:9-11 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
1 John 4:19-21 We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
TAKE A NEXT STEP
- If you find yourself operating like an only child in your faith, what is one way you can step deeper into community?
- For an in-depth Advent study, check out this Bible project video series: https://bibleproject.com/explore/category/advent-series/
FOR THE PARENTS
Hey, families! Here’s a look at what we’re covering with your kids so you can help them continue to grow at home during the week.
This week, kids hear about how an angel appeared to Mary and gave her wonderful and impossible news.
- THE BIBLE: Jesus calms our fears
- THE BIG IDEA: Luke1:26-38
Because sometimes you and your kid need a conversation-starter that isn’t,
“So . . . how was church?”
- Why do you think Mary stopped being afraid about the message the angel brought her?
- What is one way you normally handle fear?
This month, your kids are memorizing the Bible verse
Luke 2:10 (NIV), in case you want to work on them together.
EC: “I will bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10
Elem: “But the angel said to them, ’Do not be afraid. I bring you good new that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10 (NIV)
Next week, the kids hear about how an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him about who Mary’s baby was.