JOY

Week of December 13, 2020

In week three, we'll focus on the Christmas theme of joy. No doubt that for many, the Christmas season is associated with good and happy feelings. For others, however, it can be a time of profound dread or sorrow. But the biblical theme of joy looks beyond our present feelings and trusts in God's goodness and power. 


Below is a video to watch, followed by a Bible reading and discussion questions. Then, if you are using an advent wreath, there is a time to light candles and pray. Finally, there are ideas for family adventures in week three. 

WATCH

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BIBLE DISCUSSION

Video Question:

What is one idea that stood out to you when you watched the video on joy?


Read Psalm 16:8-11

These verses demonstrate the response of God's people to being in His presence. 

  

Question 1: 

What are the writer's feelings? 


Question 2: 

What is so special about being with God that creates this kind of attitude in His people?


Review Luke 2:10-11

The angels announced good news of great joy. This was due to the identity of the baby that had been born and was now present with them. 


Question: 

How do they identify this child in Luke 2:11, and why should that bring great joy?

(NOTE: The Bible often uses the word Christ as code for king.)


Read Acts 13:52 and Galatians 5:22

When people trust Jesus as their savior and king, they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to live in them. Following the direction of God's Word and the Holy Spirit leads to certain attitudes.


Question:

During the Christmas season, how can we show that our joy comes not just from present circumstances, whether happy or not (2 Cor. 6:10), but from what we know God has done and what we believe He will do? 

With our families? With our friends? On social media?  (Yes, you should relate this to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other matters that you can't control.)


Final Question:

Do you know the joy that comes knowing Jesus as your savior and king? (Click here for a short video to explain salvation more.)

Share your decision or ask a question here.>> 

ADVENT WREATH

If you are using an advent wreath, take a moment before dinner to light the first, second, and third* candles and pray with your family. 

*If you're using three violet candles and one rose candle (as pictured), this is typically the week to light the rose candle. But we won't be focusing on that tradition here. 


Pray

Remember to include the biblical theme of joy in your prayer. Thank God for His blessings and ask for His help to express contagious joy to people this Christmas.  

FAMILY ADVENTURE

  1. Christmas Lights Tour
    The Christmas lights are up! Go for a walk or a drive and check them out. Remember, there are neighborhoods, businesses, parks, and communities that set up displays, so you could make an evening of it. Christmas lights bring joy, wonder, AND discussion. Discuss why, especially this year, people need to choose a joyful attitude and how simple customs like Christmas lights can encourage us. 

  2. Share Joy
    There is something about a joyful life that leads to generosity.  The choice to trust that God has a bright future planned for us, the decision for faith and hope in Jesus no matter what comes, makes us want to give ourselves for others. This week consider some ways you can give to those who have no way of giving back to you. 
    -Deliver a meal to a friend or neighbor who cannot get out much. (Inviting them to your home might not be advisable this year.)
    -Make a donation to a local city mission, food bank, or assistance center. 
    -Send a care package to someone serving in the military who cannot be home for Christmas. (Ask their families; they'll know how.) 
    -Make a donation to an international organization that helps people build farms, find clean water, provides medical relief, or helps those at risk find dignified work (Samaritan's Purse, Women at Risk).