Introduction & Prayer
The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus. What are some words that represent how we approach this season of Advent/Christmas?
During Advent we light 5 candles. The 3rd candle is which candle? [Shepherd’s candle/Joy Candle]
Read Luke 2:8-11
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
Describe something that you really wanted, but you knew it probably wasn’t going to happen. How did you feel while your were waiting for it? How did you feel when you received it?
Where did Shepherd’s fit in society at that time?
Why were the shepherds terrified?
What does God appearing to shepherds reveal to us about God’s nature?
What emotions or feelings does the angel’s appearance change in the shepherds?
Why does this message bring great joy to all people?
Read Isaiah 7:13-14
14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
How does Isaiah’s message bring us joy?
Why is the name of God, Immanuel, so meaningful to you?
Read Isaiah 40:10-11
10Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. 11He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
How does this passage teach us how a shepherd cares for sheep?
Describe a moment that you felt that God carried you like a shepherd.
Read Nehemiah 8:10b
…This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
What does this passage teach us that joy will do in our lives?
How does the world understand joy?
How is the joy of the Lord different from the joy of the world? Can the joy of the Lord be taken away? Does the joy of the Lord change?
Read Jesus’ instruction in John 16:20-24
20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. 21 It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. 22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. 23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. 24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
Why does it matter that the joy we experience is different from the joy of the world?
Think on This…
How can you specifically reflect the joy of Advent this Christmas?
Read Colossians 3:13-17
Colossians 3:13-17 13Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. 16Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Practice Memorizing Verse 13 and 14 and 15