Week 4: The Blessing of Home
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have participants share what has been a blessing to them and/or how they have been a blessing to others.
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
- Verses 47 to 55 is known as Mary’s Magnificat. Name all the actions Mary ascribes to God. [Looked with favor, v. 48; scattered the proud, v. 51; brought down powerful, v. 52, etc.]
- What emotions surface as your read the Magnificat (vv. 47-55)?
- Name all the reversals in the Magnificat. [brought down the powerful, lifted up the lowly, etc.] How might this poem’s focus on reversals and Micah’s declaration of Bethlehem of Ephrathah’s status reversal be indicative of God’s character? [It reveals God’s fondness for displaying God’s might through the seemingly insignificant.]
- How do these reversals speak to what God might do in and through each of us? [No matter how unworthy or insignificant we think we are, God can use us to do mighty things.]
- How would the news from the Angel Gabriel to Mary (1:26-31) have been unwelcomed news for Mary? How would Elizabeth’s response to Mary have been welcomed?
- How have Advent practices such as prayer, waiting, and repentance contributed to a meaningful Advent season?
- (R) How do Elizabeth and Mary embody faithful discipleship? [filled with the Holy Spirit, belief in God’s promises]
- (R) How is God calling you to be like Elizabeth or Mary this week?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
Creator God, by now most have done at least some of the preparation work to share blessings with family, friends, and colleagues. Presents have been bought and wrapped; decorations are on display; and children are anticipating gifts. Help us also to do the preparation work to celebrate rightly and experience peace, hope, and joy this Christmas. Amen.