Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media)
Context (From the Current Session Page)
Share the images of the landmarks lit in red, white, and blue and ask questions like:
- Much of the Advent season is built around candles. In what ways does the image of a candle lit in darkness offer hope, peace, or comfort in tragic situations?
- How do you feel when you see these images?
- What claims do you think are being made when light is used in this way?
- In what ways do words like “wonder” and “hope” affect you in this season, particularly when headlines in the news seem to hold so much darkness?
- How do you feel about such terms when gathered with other believers and why?
Content (From the Mind Session Page)
Take a few moments as a group to discuss the story of Zechariah in the first part of Luke 1, then read Luke 1:68-79 and watch the Bible background video.
Remind the group that this story begins in a time when there were very few supernatural signs of God’s presence. The Jewish people were being oppressed and harassed by their Roman occupiers, and Zechariah and Elizabeth thought they would never be able to have children. Ask questions like these:
- In the midst of such difficult circumstances, what does John’s miraculous birth signify?
- Based on our focal passages, what kind of hopes and expectations does Zechariah have for this baby?
- Knowing John’s later story, how does he fulfill this role?
- Zechariah speaks of their current time as “darkness” and “shadow.” Why is this an appropriate image for their time and how does that compare to the times in which we now live?
- What do you think the term “path of peace,” as used here, really means?
Closure (from the Media Session page)
Play the Dear Santa Sign video clip and ask:
- In what ways does the birth of every child give us a glimpse into true peace?
- What are ways you can show the path to peace in your everyday life?
- In what ways is this misplaced sign a determent to peace?
- How do we guard the peace of both the young and old?
- How can followers of Jesus bring peace to a world that seems to fight over everything?
Invite volunteers to name a situation for which we need peace, then close with a prayer.