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)
Tell the group that at this time of year, we hear in the media many predictions for the next year, ideas about what 2016 will bring. Ask:
- What are some of the best or worst predictions you have heard so far and why?
- What guesses do you have for something more immediate, like what you may be looking back on at the end of this Christmas season and remember most and least fondly and why?
- In what ways does the seasonal theme of “Love” affect the way you think the future may go, or the way you might view the past?
Content (From the Mind Session Page)
Read Micah 5:2-5a, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask questions like these:
- Micah prophesied in a time of Israel’s history that was filled with violence and fear – a time when God’s people were under threat of attack from the vicious Assyrian armies. In what ways does this passage reflect this situation?
- How does he inject an element of hope into what must have been a fearful time?
- What outcome does Micah ultimately foresee for his people?
- In some translations 5a says, “And he will be our peace.” What do you think this means, and how is it different from saying “he will give us peace?”
- Jesus was born in a similar time of violence and fear – when the Romans occupied Israel, and the people were fearful and oppressed. In what ways does he fulfill this prophecy?
- Why do you think it would be significant for Christ’s followers to recall these prophecies from almost 700 years before?
- What kind of “ruler” or “shepherd” do you think people were looking for in the time Jesus was born?
- In what ways does Jesus fulfill these expectations, or not, and why?
- In what ways did Jesus embody peace for his people?
Closure (from the Media Session page)
Play the Sainbury Ad and remind the group that this ad was based on historical events from 1914, then ask:
- How does it come about that people from Christian countries can find themselves actively pursuing a war on Christmas day?
- As followers of Jesus, we talk about love a lot, but in what ways is it more powerful than war?
- If the spirit of love and reconciliation can create a truce in a time of world war, what could it do in your community, family, and the world?
- What kinds of things might we do to ensure that these things could happen?
Close in prayer