Week 3: The Joy 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 a story of joy.
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
- The hearers of Zephaniah’s message are invited to sing and rejoice. What is the cause of their singing and rejoicing? [see especially 3:15, 19-20] How can we have a deep sense of joy, even when circumstances seem gloomy?
- Who is responding to John’s message? [crowds, tax collectors, soldiers] Which group(s) would people be surprised to see responding to John’s message? [Tax collectors and soldiers] How is John the Baptist’s message preparing the way for the Messiah? How might we be called to a similar ministry? [As John did, so we also point to the source of healing and life.]
- In light of John’s message, how do you think he would answer the question, “How should we live?” How is this similar or dissimilar to how Jesus would answer the question?
- How is what we “do” related to what God has done and/or is doing?
- According to John the Baptist, how do we appropriately live out our baptism? [Change the way we live. Be part of a new community.]
- (R) How does your baptism (and living a life of repentance) impact how you live life?
- (R) What is God doing around us this Advent that would cause us to experience joy? What is God calling us to this Advent season that would bring others joy?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
Almighty God, giver of every good gift and the provider of life, we continue waiting to hear again the good news of your birth. We long for a Messiah who will guide us during chaotic times and bring us joy that passes understanding. We long for a Messiah to bring righteousness and purification. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.