Advent means God's own joy and gladness have broken into this world, just as He promised.
Scripture: Luke 1:5-25
- Do you get competitive when you play games? Have a funny story about that?
- Icebreaker Suggestion: Have different people act out Zechariah in the temple trying to explain what he saw to everyone through making signs (Luke 1:22). Vote on the best Zechariah!
- Our Advent theme is Abundant Joy. How can you celebrate God's abundance this season?
- How can you reclaim the joy of this season? What does it mean to you that God's own joy is available to you (John 17:13)?
- Read Luke 1:5-10. Notice that even though Zechariah and Elizabeth are faithful, they struggle. Why does Luke take such pains to show us this?
- Zechariah's name means, 'God Remembers.' When have you felt forgotten by God? Remembered?
- Read Luke 1:11-15. 400 years of heavenly silence is broken. God speaks! In 1:14 3 different words for joy are used. Why is joy such an advent theme?
- Zechariah questions God's promise (1:18). When are times that you question God's promises due to your circumstances? What promises of God are you most prone to doubt?
- In Luke 1:25 Elizabeth says that God has carried away her reproach. What God did for Elizabeth, God in Christ wants to do for each of us. The Gospel deals with our shame problem. How do you experience crippling shame?
- Experts agree that vulnerability is the way out of shame. However, when we are stuck in shame, being vulnerable is the last thing we want to do. How can God's vulnerability in becoming a child empower you to practice healthy vulnerability?
- We're a lot like Zechariah this Christmas (1:22). We're trying to explain to kids, friends, neighbors this amazing miracle of Christmas but our words fail. Zechariah had just heard the biggest news ever but he could not communicate it. Even though the people did not understand the details, they could not miss that Zechariah had been in God's presence. What does this say to you?