Adult & Teen Discussion Guide
1. Primary Statement
Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people – a time to reconnect with family, a time to bond around nostalgia, a time to practice generosity – but for Christians, it’s a time to celebrate Jesus’ birth. In order to fully appreciate the importance of Jesus’ arrival, we need to understand why He came, beginning with the crown jewel of God’s creation – humanity.
2. Bible Verse
Humanity was created to give praise and bring glory to God.
Everything in creation brings God glory, just like a trophy case brings glory to an athlete, or an art gallery brings glory to an artist. Humanity is different, though. We weren’t made to passively point to God – we have the capacity and design to actively praise Him.
Psalm 100:1-3 [ESV] “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
Q. What are some examples of creation bringing glory to God?
Q. What are some ways you can actively praise God?
Humanity was designed for community.
From the beginning, this worship we were designed for was intended to happen together; side by side in community, with God as the uniting principle among us.
Psalm 95:6-7 [GNT] “Come, let us bow down and worship him; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! He is our God; we are the people he cares for, the flock for which he provides.”
Psalm 133:1 [ESV] “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”
Q. Can you worship God all by yourself?
Q. When you worship God in community with others, how is it different?
Q. What are some ways you can worship God in community?
4. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for including you as part of His amazing creation. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep your focus on bringing praise to Him with all areas of your life.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
1. Power Verse
Philippians 3:1 “Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy.”
Watts Up: “God Gives Joy To Every Girl And Boy!”
**PARENTS: Sometimes joy gets buried under a pile of busyness during the Christmas season—joy seems to be inversely related to stress! This week’s devotion is to set aside some time to rediscover and experience joy as a family. You’ll need to clear everyone’s calendar for a couple of hours one night (that may mean canceling some of your own plans).
Think of an activity everyone in your family enjoys, and plan on spending the night doing it. Ask your teens to put away their cell phones (and put your own away) so you can enjoy just being with each other. If you can’t think of anything to do, here are some suggestions:
- Play a favorite board or card game.
- Gather all the pillows and blankets in your house and lay together in the floor, watching your favorite funny movie.
- Drive around looking at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music.
- Play charades.
- Cook something together.
- Go bowling.
- Go to the mall and tell everyone they have $500 pretend dollars to spend.
- Stay together and see how each person spends their money. Don’t buy anything!
After you’ve finished, take some time to talk about the following questions:
Q. What are some of the best or funniest memories you have of things we’ve done in the past?
Q. Did all of these memories seem good while they were happening, or were some of them not so great at the time, but ended up being special?
Q. What are some of the things you look forward to in the future that you think will bring you joy?
Q. What are some things that keep you from experiencing joy? Where does true joy come from?
4. Prayer Focus
Finally, pray together, praising God for the joy he has brought to your family. Thank him for all of the good memories you have made over the years and for the ones that you’ll make in the future.