Tidings of Comfort & Joy
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We encourage you to use (along with your Bibles) copies of the printed worship bulletin and read the song lyrics as you discuss the following questions.
- Advent means “Coming.” Why did Jesus come? We often say that He came “to save us from our sins,” which is true. But what did He say about why He came? Read the prophecy in Isaiah 42:1-7, as well as Jesus’ words in Luke 4:16-21 (where He quotes Isaiah 61) and Matthew 9:9-13. How does this go beyond “personal salvation”?
- Consider again the promises in Isaiah 61:1-3a, and Jesus’ claim that, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” If the prophecy was fulfilled, why are there still poor in the world, brokenhearted, captives and prisoners?
- From “The Table”:
Hark! The herald angels sing;
Hear the sound and enter in.
There’s a place reserved, just come,
‘Cause Jesus eats with ev’ryone.
Are you willing to “eat with everyone”? Are there people you find too irritating, too obnoxious, or too offensive? What about the kid who is bullying your child? The person who won’t stop talking about himself? The one with horrible manners? The one who lies or cheats? How can we have the mind of Jesus toward people who rub us the wrong way?
What about people who are very different from us – ethnically, politically, culturally? What “work” does God give us regarding these, whether they are near or far?
- How do you feel when Christmas is over? Are you exhausted? Relieved? Disappointed? Read through the words of, “When the Song of the Angels Is Stilled,” which is a poem by Howard Thurman. Have you ever thought about “the work of Christmas” that really begins when the angels, the shepherds and the kings have gone? What is this work, and how do we go about doing it?
- Which song or section of the service ministered to you or challenged you the most? How so?
- Who do you know who is in need of comfort and joy right now? What are some ways you can bring that to them in Jesus’ name?