Small Group Notes

Small Group Notes - Jesus: Visitor, Saviour, God, and King!

He is Saviour (The Nativity) (16th December)

Some childhood experience is stored forever in adult memory.  Christmas time may be one of them and, in particular the Nativity scene. We have only watch a school nativity play, sing at a carol service, or to hang Christmas decorations to bring those memories back.

Christmas brings God into our lives in ways nothing else can, a God present in happiness, in generosity, and in love. It’s a simple message – easily understood by young and old alike. After all, everyone knows love is felt most – in its giving and receiving – when we are there, together, to share it. Being WITH each other makes love possible, makes it real.

1.            Read Matthew 1:18-25

Matthew is keen to tell us that Jesus’ birth is not entirely natural. How much does that matter and why – both to Matthew, and to you? Do you remember what you understood about that as a child?

What are your strongest childhood memories of the Nativity? Do you know why you continue to remember?

Matthew speaks of Jesus’ as Emanuel – as ‘God with us’. How much of that message did you experience as a child at Christmas time? What part of childhood celebrations would you change; what part would you re-inforce?

2.            Read Galatians 4:4-7

Paul’s message here is of a very different kind. It’s a message for every season, and yet it remains one of the most complex statements ever made.

In the light of what Paul is saying, how instrumental to our own understanding is the simplicity of the nativity account? How does it help? Note that John’s gospel gives no details.

In the week ahead: Put aside the complexities of ‘religion’ that Jesus’ birth might have ushered-into your mind and focus instead on the fact of his physical presence among us two thousand years ago. Recall his continuing presence every day. God IS with us – however we have come to understand what that may mean for us. Halleluiah!