HOW DID YOU SEE GOD THIS WEEK AS YOU FOLLOWED HIM?

WHAT DID GOD SAY IN HIS WORD?

Opening Question:

It feels like COVID-19 wants to be the Grinch that stole the joy of Christmas. How has your joy been robbed this year?

In the sermon, Pastor Mitch said joy is restored when Jesus shines light in darkness, overcomes oppression, and rules with peace and justice. Let’s read how the passage address those areas.

1 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. 4 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Reflect Together:

What images are used to describe joy in the passage?  (v.3)

What images are used to describe oppression in the passage? (v.4-5)

What are the names given to describe Jesus? (v.6)  Of these various names of Jesus, which one do you cling to right now and why?

What will Jesus’ rule look like?  (v.7) Jesus did not come just for our personal salvation but also to establish his kingdom of justice and righteousness. How does anticipating Jesus’ reign of justice and righteousness strengthen your heart so that you don’t give up or grow disillusioned?  How does it encourage us to keep working toward “his kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”?

WHAT DID GOD SAY TO ME THROUGH HIS WORD?

Which of the three promises of Jesus restoring joy (by shining light, overcoming oppression, and reigning with peace and justice) resonate with you most and why?

Where do you long to see the rule of Jesus breakthrough even more?

WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT?

What actions can you take help restore joy for others in this season?

Where do you see the rule of Jesus breaking through in our community and how can you partner with God in that work rather than growing discouraged by “doing it on your own”?