Welcome to the third and final week of our December series, Focus For This Season. This week, we look at the song from a man named Simeon where he proclaims Jesus to be the hope for the entire world.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
What are some traditional and non-traditional things you and yours do over the holidays?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have you had a time when you had something hanging over your head? Share what happened and how you responded. Are you glad that’s how you responded or do you wish you had acted differently?
Have someone read Luke 2:22-35 aloud. What’s one new idea or phrase you see here?
He Remembers. He Rescues. He Guides.
Simeon declared that Jesus came to be a light to the Gentiles and a glory to Israel. What do you think Simeon was hoping for as he spoke over the baby? What kind of hopes do people often pray over babies?
Through this message, we see that God wants the gospel (the good news about Jesus) to expand over the whole world. Discuss how this idea is shown in Simeon’s song.
The message that Simeon gives in his blessing is disruptive. How do you think Mary felt to hear that a sword would pierce her soul? What do you think Joseph would have thought or felt after this man’s unusual blessing?
“Infant exposure” in the first century was a tragic and yet common practice. Discuss what you think this type of disposable culture might have looked like. How do you think people with this perspective would have understood adoption? What would it have been like for a child in those times to have grown up with that identity?
Pastor Jeff Manion used the phrase, “He picked you out, he picked you up, he brought you home.” We also heard that our most defining moment in life is not who “dumped” us, but who brought us home. What do these thoughts communicate about how God values adoption and how God values us? How does this phrase impact the way you relate to God as your Father?
Discuss these questions from Dream Big, Think Small. “How might your day change if you asked the Holy Spirit to grant you a measure of gentleness when your patience is running thin or for peace to replace your runaway anxiety? What if you pleaded with God to give you the ability to love someone you’ve been finding particularly annoying, or to bring joy in the middle of a disruptive mess?”
Often, we need this practice of choosing to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit to help push out other things in our lives that are darker. What fruit have you been asking for lately? Have they been the same every day or different ones? How have you seen the impact of praying for these gifts?
Have someone read Colossians 3:15-17 aloud. How many times in these verses do you see the idea of gratitude? Why do you think the author wanted to address the Colossians that way?
We need gratitude most when we are in the midst of the worst season and it is vital for the rescue of our hearts. How have you seen your own practice of daily gratitude change your heart, thoughts and behavior?
This week our conversations focused around Simeon’s declaration of Jesus as a light to the Gentiles and a glory to Israel. God sent Jesus to rescue the whole world so we would know him. We also had another encouragement on our daily journaling practice. What’s one thing you want to do this week to take a step to grow in either of these areas?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
Have you signed up to serve during one of the upcoming Christmas services? Consider serving in hospitality, facilities or children’s ministry as a whole group! This is an easy way to help others enjoy the holiday season at Ada Bible.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Sermon Discussion Guide for the sermons on December 22/23/24 and December 29/30. It will resume January 5/6.
We hope you will gather together to celebrate, have some winter fun and continue to pray for one another.
Download a printable PDF here.