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).
Context (From the Mind Session Page)
Begin by asking:
- How do you know when someone loves you?
- What do you usually do when you want to show someone you love them?
- What role does love play in our secular culture’s celebrations of holidays, like Christmas?
- Why do you think we save “love” as the theme for the last Sunday of Advent?
Content (From the Media Session Page)
Read Psalm 89 (focusing closely on 89:1-4 & 19-26), then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask questions like:
- What would make the Psalmist sing of God’s love forever?
- What would it be like to feel like God has made the promise to you that your people will be cared for forever?
- What made David the great leader according to this psalmist?
- On what basis is David promised victory over his enemies?
- How important would those promises have been to a people facing probable military attacks on a regular basis?
- How secure would someone feel depending on those promises of love from God?
Closure (From the Current Session Page)
Look up images of “God’s love at Christmas” on Bing or Google. (If you have time in advance, you might consider choosing ten to twenty in advance and showing them to your group.) Say something like: One of the more interesting things about Internet searches is that you can find out what the rest of the world is thinking about. Since this week’s Advent theme is “Love,” I took a quick look at the images that come up this year when you type “God’s love at Christmas” into a search engine. Here’s what I found. Share the results of your search, and ask:
- Which of these images means the most or least to you and why?
- What kinds of things add meaning to your celebration of Advent and Christmas and what kinds of things detract from it?
- If you were to use your own life as an illustration of God’s love, what would the picture look like?
- How did you feel about Nikki’s statement that “If our love doesn’t look like the love of Jesus, which involved taking up His cross and denying His self for our sake, then we are doing something wrong.”?
- What does it mean to let our love lead us to live with “humility and generosity?”
- What might we do to help God’s love, as expressed through Christmas, transform other people’s lives?
Close with a prayer.