Life Group at The Well
To reflect upon some of the earliest Christmas stories as we seek to make Christ the most important gift we receive this Holiday season.
Explore Question 1
What are some of the best examples of Christmas decorations that you have enjoyed the most during your lifetime?
Explore Question 2
What was it about those decorations that made you enjoy them the most?
Explore Question 3
Did these things detract from or build upon the “true meaning of Christmas”?
Matthew 2:1-12 CEB
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him." When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him. He gathered all the chief priests and the legal experts and asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote: You, Bethlehem, land of Judah, by no means are you least among the rulers of Judah, because from you will come one who governs, who will shepherd my people Israel." Then Herod secretly called for the magi and found out from them the time when the star had first appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search carefully for the child. When you’ve found him, report to me so that I too may go and honor him." When they heard the king, they went; and look, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.
Clarify Question 1
Why do you think that the magi are significant to Christianity today?
Clarify Question 2
What does the story of the magi say about who Jesus was and is?
Clarify Question 3
Did you have to travel far to find Jesus in your life, or was he “next door”?
Clarify Question 4
Why did it take foreign scholars to discover the Messiah’s birth?
Clarify Question 5
Why might God have chosen to reach out to foreign scholars in this story?
Clarify Question 6
Is it possible that God might use you to deliver some message or gift to another rather than it being delivered by their own family?
Clarify Question 7
Why do you think the magi were overwhelmed with joy?
Clarify Question 8
How do you think Joseph and Mary reacted to seeing their child worshipped and receiving extravagant gifts?
Clarify Question 9
The magi saw past Mary’s situation in life and worshipped her child – are you able to view people as God does?
Isaiah 60:1-3 CEB
Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the LORD’s glory has shone upon you. Though darkness covers the earth and gloom the nations, the LORD will shine upon you; God’s glory will appear over you. Nations will come to your light and kings to your dawning radiance.
1 Kings 10:1-9 CEB
When the queen of Sheba heard reports about Solomon, due to the LORD’s name, she came to test him with riddles. Accompanying her to Jerusalem was a huge entourage with camels carrying spices, a large amount of gold, and precious stones. After she arrived, she told Solomon everything that was on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too difficult for him to answer. When the queen of Sheba saw how wise Solomon was, the palace he had built, the food on his table, the servants’ quarters, the function and dress of his attendants, his cupbearers, and the entirely burned offerings that he offered at the LORD’s temple, it took her breath away. "The report I heard about your deeds and wisdom when I was still at home is true," she said to the king. "I didn’t believe it until I came and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, the half of it wasn’t even told to me! You have far more wisdom and wealth than I was told. Your people and these servants who continually serve you and get to listen to your wisdom are truly happy! Bless the LORD your God because he was pleased to place you on Israel’s throne. Because the LORD loved Israel with an eternal love, the LORD made you king to uphold justice and righteousness."
Apply Question 1
Given of what you know of history, how has God’s shown his light to people during their darkest times?
Apply Question 2
Has someone ever shined a light for you when you were in darkness?
Apply Question 3
God’s people are his “stars,” his shining lights to draw others to Christ. What does this suggest about how we are suppose to act if we are to be the light to the world?
Apply Question 4
Do you think that your life might act as an inspiration to others?
Apply Question 5
Do you think that The Well has a similar effect on the community?
That we can approach this Holiday season with peace and joy.