Sunday, December 15, 2013
Sermon Series: Unexpected Guests
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38
- An angel appeared to a virgin girl named Mary, who was pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. What was the angel’s name?
- The angel greeted Mary saying, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” What was Mary’s reaction to this greeting?
- Were appearances of angels common during Mary’s time? It was common in the Old Testament for people to hear directly from God. Was it common in these days?
- The angel tells Mary, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God….” Why do you think Mary had found favor with God?
- The angel told Mary she would bear the Son of God and name him Jesus. Since Mary was a virgin, how did the angel explain that this would happen?
- What will this mean for Mary, a virgin who is pledged to marry Joseph, to be pregnant?
- The angel expands on the wonders God is unfolding by talking about Mary’s relative, Elizabeth, who was in her old age and barren, but God promised her a son. At the time of the angel’s appearance to Mary, Elizabeth was already in her sixth month. Then the angel says, “For nothing is impossible with God.” Find other places in scripture that talk about God’s power to do “impossible” things.
- Before the angel left, Mary confirms that she is ready for God to use her. She says, “I am the Lord’s servant.” What possible social consequences might be going through Mary’s mind as she agrees to be the Lord’s servant?
- Have you ever heard/felt God’s voice telling you to do something? Did you do it? If yes, what happened?
- Miracles happen every single day. Have you ever seen God do an “impossible” thing in your life?
- Sustaining hope and Salvation are tied together; any non-believer can have hope, but the only hope that lasts through a long waiting period is hope that is grounded in Christ. Sometimes, even Christ followers lose our hope and stop praying for God to work miracles in our lives because we don’t fully believe it can happen. Do you pray for impossible things? What is the most impossible thing you are praying for right now?
- The name Jesus means, “Yahweh Saves.” He is also called Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” By studying the rest of the Gospel, we can put these two meanings together: God came to be with us through His son Jesus, who will be sacrificed to save us. Research what other names Jesus is called mean to add more to the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Do you think very many people know the Christmas story? How many of those people do you think fully understand the gravity of it? If you know a non-believer, invite them to go to church with you this advent season and help them understand what Christmas means.
- How do you think your daily excitement and anticipation of Christ’s return compares to the excitement and anticipation of Christ’s birth experienced by those who had visions from God about the child’s birth? This Christmas, go deeper into the Christmas story than you ever have and remember the connection of Christmas to the day Christ will come again!