December 18 – 24

Weekly Reading for December 18 – 24

Preparing for Next Week’s Message

Sermon Series: My First Christmas
Sermon Title: Testify…the Story of the Father

This reading plan will get your heart and mind set for the next message on December 24, 2016:


Reflecting on the Most Recent Sermon

Sermon Series: My First Christmas
Sermon Title: Testify…the Story of Mary and Joseph
Delivered On: December 18, 2016

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Memorize and Reflect

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sin. ([bible]Matthew 1:21[/bible])


Prayer Direction

Pray that the Holy Spirit will empower you to respond to God's voice with the obedience and confidence exhibited by Mary and Joseph.


“Live It!” Challenge

Growing Obedient - Find a time to reflect quietly on the radical obedience of Joseph and Mary. Linger long enough to explore an area you feel you have been resistant to God’s call upon your life. What is one step you can take to move toward obedience to Him?


Small Group Discussion

  1. Tell your earliest remembrance of a nativity scene. If you are able to recall some of your thoughts about the characters, share with your group members.

  2. Read: Luke 1:26-37 Have someone in the group share the experience of first learning of their pregnancy or the news of someone close becoming pregnant. What do you hear in Mary’s response? What do you think was the hardest thing for her to comprehend?

  3. Read: Luke 1:38 What do you hear in Mary’s reply to the messenger? How do you think you would respond to a miraculous announcement from God?

  4. Compare Genesis 18:10-14 to the above passage. What parallels do you see? How do Sarah, Elizabeth and Mary’s responses differ? What is the common denominator in the three situations? (see Genesis 18:14, Luke 1:37)

  5. What two positive qualities about your dad come to mind as you think about your childhood?

  6. Read: Matthew 1:18-19 How would you feel if you were in Joseph’s sandals? Read: Matthew 1:20-21. How would you explain this to family or friends?

  7. Read: Matthew 1:20-25, 2:13-14, 19-22 What do these verses have in common? How have you experienced God’s voice in your life? What is Joseph’s response in each passage listed above?

  8. What does this say about Joseph?

  9. Which quality of Mary or Joseph would you like to establish or develop more in your own life? What is your next step toward that end, and how can your group members pray for you as you seek to learn from Mary and Joseph's examples?

  10. Tell your earliest remembrance of a nativity scene. If you are able to recall some of your thoughts about the characters, share with your group members.

  11. Read: Luke 1:26-37 Have someone in the group share the experience of first learning of their pregnancy or the news of someone close becoming pregnant. What do you hear in Mary’s response? What do you think was the hardest thing for her to comprehend?

  12. Read: Luke 1:38 What do you hear in Mary’s reply to the messenger? How do you think you would respond to a miraculous announcement from God?

  13. Compare Genesis 18:10-14 to the above passage. What parallels do you see? How do Sarah, Elizabeth and Mary’s responses differ? What is the common denominator in the three situations? (see Genesis 18:14, Luke 1:37)

  14. What two positive qualities about your dad come to mind as you think about your childhood?

  15. Read: Matthew 1:18-19 How would you feel if you were in Joseph’s sandals? Read: Matthew 1:20-21. How would you explain this to family or friends?

  16. Read: Matthew 1:20-25, 2:13-14, 19-22 What do these verses have in common? How have you experienced God’s voice in your life? What is Joseph’s response in each passage listed above?

  17. What does this say about Joseph?

  18. Which quality of Mary or Joseph would you like to establish or develop more in your own life? What is your next step toward that end, and how can your group members pray for you as you seek to learn from Mary and Joseph's examples?