Break the Ice
What is one thing other people may not know about you?
Bring the Word
Read Luke 1:26-38
- Why do you think Mary was troubled by Gabriel’s greeting?
- What do we learn about the Messiah and His purpose?
- Put yourself in Mary’s shoes, what are some problems this plan may cause you at this point in your life?
- How would you describe Mary’s response to all that Gabriel has just told her?
- Does it seem easier to go with our own plans or God’s plan? Why?
Read Matthew 1:18-25
- What are some alternative courses Joseph might have considered?
- Why did he decide on divorcing Mary quietly?
- What might be some of the hardships for Joseph for accepting an already pregnant Mary as his wife?
- What are some of the blessings for Joseph and/or Mary for following God’s plan?
- Which would come first, hardship or blessings?
Read Luke 2:1-7
- Do you think Joseph would have known anyone in Bethlehem?
- Why do you think we do not hear about his family coming to see the baby?
- Do you think verse 7 is saying that all the rooms had been taken already or that no one wanted them to stay in their guest room?
- It may help to look at different translations. For example, Young’s Literal Translation – “and she brought forth her son — the first-born, and wrapped him up, and laid him down in the manger, because there was not for them a place in the guest-chamber.”
Read Luke 2:8-21
- How were shepherds regarded by society at this time? What are some things you know about shepherds?
- What might the shepherds be risking by going?
- Why do you think the bible places the shepherds as the first visitors of Jesus?
- In what way do you think the shepherd’s message affected Mary and Joseph?
Bring it Home
- In what ways might the story of Jesus’ birth be different if Mary, Joseph, or the shepherds had tried to follow their own plans?
- Is there any way to calculate the impact you will have by following God’s plan?
- Is there any way to know the blessing you will miss by not following God’s plan?
- How can we pray for you?