Sermon Recap and Small Group Discussion Questions
We are moving on now in our journey South to Bethlehem!
Mary and Joseph have been on their journey for a couple of days and the trail is becoming harder. They have begun the steep climb of the Hills of Ephraim and it is a sharp incline without any downhill breaks. They have blisters on their feet and aches in their muscles.
As Mary and Joseph enter into Samaritan territory, they might have questioned once again whether they should take the long way around to avoid the area and any trouble they could run into. They might have asked God, would you really send us through the land of our enemy, a land that causes us discomfort, tension and even fear? I believe that their route was very specific and purposeful. Would God send this new couple down an arduous path to discover a greater understanding of His love? It certainly sounds like something He would do, doesn't it?!
They might have come into contact with some of the people alongside the road as they traveled through the land. There might have been conversations, or simply sightings that stayed in the minds of Mary and Joseph long after they had passed by. I believe that they learned a lot on their journey to Bethlehem, like how to better love God and others.
We are also on a journey to discovering how to do this well. On Sunday, Pastor Chad explained that loving God is loving others, you cannot separate the two. So, if you are not loving others, YOU ARE NOT LOVING GOD. It is that straight-forward.
Sermon Bulletin: click here.
Sermon Discussion Questions:
1. Loving God transforms our hearts so that we love others the way He does. How do you believe God has changed your heart so that you can love others better?
2. We are called to love others willingly, intentionally and sacrificially. Which of these three is the hardest for you to do? Which is the easiest?
3. If you could pinpoint the "tension" you often feel when trying to love others intentionally, what would it be?
4. How can you "B.L.E.S.S." someone else this Christmas season? Who has gone set on your heart to be his expression of love?