Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session. (Share the link via email or social media).
Start by asking:
- What was Christmas like for you while you were growing up?
- What is the most memorable Christmas celebration you ever had, and what makes it so special?
- What were the best gifts you can remember having given or received during a Christmas season and why?
- What was the most difficult to prepare gift that you’ve ever given or received?
- Please don’t answer this question if it’s going to be a spoiler, but what was the favorite gift you gave or received this year?
Read Titus 3:4-7, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask questions like these:
- How often do you think of God’s love as a gift?
- Our scripture today says that the gift of God came to us because of God’s mercy. How do you understand mercy?
- How do we know mercy when we see it?
- What do these verses tell you about the nature of God’s love?
- Why do you think it is so important for the writer of Titus to emphasize that God’s love for us is purely God’s choice and had nothing to do with our actions?
Show this Christmas commercial and ask:
- Why do you think people would claim this as the “best Christmas commercial?”
- What are some connections between what this grandfather did and what we claim in Jesus’s birth and the idea of Emmanuel?
- What do you think imagine Jesus would encounter in a “humanity for beginners” book?
- The gift of visiting his family and speaking their language took time, sacrifice, and financial commitment, but the man’s expression suggests that the sacrifice was worth it. What does this tell us about how love leads us to reshape our time, our location, or our sacrifices?
- What gifts have you received that demonstrate an investment like the one this man made for his family?
- The man learned and traveled so far in order to tell someone who he is. In what ways does this bring to mind these verses from Titus that describe who God is?
“I am. You are. He/she/it is.” This simple language lesson holds truth for us. How do you hear this English for beginners wording in light of what Titus 3:4-7 says about who God is?
End the session with a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s love that travels any distance.
**Writer: Erin Hall **