The events of the Christmas story in Bethlehem weren’t an accident but a message. A message that placed Jesus at the center of a mess, not a masterpiece. The nativity mess reminds us that life isn’t the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ. That God desires to in ltrate our greatest messes and fears, with His peace. - Pastor Dave
Open: Describe a personal mess in your life that is rooted in fear:
Read: Luke 2:1-20; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; Isaiah 26:3, 53
1. In what ways do you notice that Christmas seems to heighten our fears, frustrations and anxieties? Do you agree with this statement, “Christmas is a season of overt anxiety and fear?” Why or why not? How could the Christmas story be considered emblematic of life?
2. Luke takes great care to describe the details of the circumstances of Jesus’ birth. What details stand out to you? Why? Describe the society/cultural mess of the day: What would you consider the societal issues of our day? How did God enter the cultural mess of that day and how would it be considered counter-cultural?
3. As you read Luke 2:4-7, notice how the nuisances and inconveniences continued to mound for Mary and Joseph. However, in what ways did God show up in the midst of their circumstances without changing or altering them? Describe a time God showed up in your circumstances with actually changing them: What was the result?
4. Describe the societal view of the shepherds. Why do you believe God uses them to be the rst witnesses of the identity of Christ? How does knowing Jesus, and understanding God’s glory, cause His peace to overwhelm our fears? What are the areas of your life where you need peace over fears right now?
Pray: Pray that you would see God’s presence and work in and through our messes. Ask God to drive out the fears that cause many of our messes.
Memorize/Meditate: And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11