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 is your favorite Christmas memory and why?
- How do you feel about what the Christmas season has become in our society – as both a secular and a Christian holiday – and why?
- What do our current practices of Christmas shopping and gift-giving say about our society?
- What do they say about our human nature?
Read Titus 3:4-7, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Then ask questions like these:
- In verses 1-2 the writer reminds the Christ followers to be good citizens – why is this kind of behavior important for Christian people?
- In what way does our outward behavior speak to our inward beliefs?
- How might our outward behavior negate the words we speak about God?
- To what degree do you think the writer’s description of our life before Christ, in verse 3, is an accurate depiction of human nature?
- In what ways might we have bent the tradition of Christmas gift-giving back into something very human-centered?
- Go through verses 4-7 carefully together and note the following: What things has God done for us? In what ways has this changed us?
- What do you think the writer initially meant by “when God’s kindness and love appeared” in verse 4?
Continue by asking:
- What significance does gift-giving have for those of us who follow Jesus’ way?
- In what ways was Jesus’ appearance itself a gift?
- What difference did Jesus’ presence as a human being make to us?
- How might we celebrate that in our homes as we spend time together today?
- For many Christians in the world, today is only the first day of a twelve-day celebration of Jesus’ birth. In what ways might we use the tradition of giving gifts today and in the days ahead, to reflect the significance of the Gift who came to us?
- Discuss some ideas together for gift-giving that honors the Source of all love and gifts.
Close with prayer of thanksgiving and celebration.
Writer: Jon Parks