A Modern Christmas | Week 1

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Talk It OVER…
These questions and thoughts are designed to help you create connection in your Community Group. For a more in-depth study on our Modern Christmas Series, you can refer back to the devo by connecting to the Modern Christmas Devo on the website.

*Start Talking: Find a conversation starter for your group from the following questions…

-When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?

-What is your absolute dream job?

*Start Thinking: Ask a thoughtful question.
Through this series, we are taking a look at the story of Jesus into a modern days lens. What if Jesus came into the 21st Century as a baby?

We can’t imagine a time without Jesus in it. We can read the Old Testament and see the steps the people had to take to atone for their sins. I’m sure it didn’t feel very personal. Thankfully, Mary and Joseph were willing servants and through them we are able to have a direct line to God through Jesus Christ!

*Start Sharing: Go over these questions to help spark discussion in your group.
To so many individuals who don’t know the story well, or who hear it like a fairly tale, the characters in the Christmas story almost seem like a faded story that has been passed down through the years. They have been framed in pictures with all sorts of ideas.

How do we identify with them? Because if we don’t, then the Bible becomes just a transcript of their story but it doesn’t affect ours. You will never carry the son of God like Mary did, but you will carry the message of the gospel with you throughout the course of your lifetime. So understanding what she went through, what Joseph experienced - can help all of us carry that message with greater importance. These people were human beings who struggled with life’s biggest questions like you and I do! 

Read Luke 1:37-38 (The Passion Translation)

“Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God.” Then Mary responded, saying, “This is amazing! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her.

Put yourself in Mary’s shoes for a moment, how would you have reacted based upon your current life circumstances? Would you have graciously accepted because you love God deeply? Would you have refused because of insecurity? Would you have refused because of the unknown of what was to come? What would your current family and friends think if this was you?

Listen to this quote from NT Wright: “Mary is, the supreme example of what always happens when God is at work by grace through human beings. God’s power from outside and the indwelling spirit within, together result in the things being done which would have been unthinkable any other way.” Hence, a miracle!

Miracles cannot be defined by man’s description. There are so many definitions to what a miracle can look like - that we can’t even begin to imagine how to define them: physical, spiritual, financial, emotional, a job, etc...  A miracle is a miracle... a working by God! We have to trust that God knows best!

Miracles aren’t dependent on work, however there are times we have to participate in order for the miracle to happen.  We can’t just sit around and wait and do nothing.

Take a moment and reflect on a miracle that happened in your life, or in the life of someone you know. Share the miracle with the group. Remember, there is no set definition of a miracle... it can be a healing, salvation received, a spouse, a friend, a pet, a job, something supernatural, etc... 

Reflect on this quote by JRR Tolkien:
“Think of how long the Jews had to wait….so long that they didn’t accept it. Some had forgotten about it. What if you pray for a miracle and it doesn’t happen in your life-time? Does it make it less of a miracle?”

Miracles don’t come on our timeline, but they do indeed come right on time with God’s timing. Do you need a miracle in your life right now? Are you willing to wait patiently and do what the Lord ask you to do?

*Start Prayer: Here are ways to close your group in prayer. 
Have someone close in prayer thanking God for the miracle of his son, Jesus. Pray for the needs of those in your group, pray over those who need God to move in situations in a miraculous way.

Take this week and study out Mary and Joseph and see their accounts of when the angel spoke to them. Then, write out what miracles you are waiting for and began to pray for.