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Advent and Christmas Bible Study I

This Bible Study was written by Charlene Fairchild and used with her WOMANSTUDY Bible Study groups and with the London Conference UCW. It can be used by groups or by individuals. Permission is granted for use by groups provided the appropriate acknowledgement is made. If you do use it and find it useful please let me know.

A Holy Christmas
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Sermons & Sermon - Lectionary Resources
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A Christmas Study I
Charlene Elizabeth Fairchild
SCRIPTURE Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96;Titus 2:11-14; and Luke 2:1-20 FOR REFLECTION These are the readings for Christmas Eve at midnight from "The Book of Alternative Services" of the Anglican Church of Canada. They have been chosen, arbitrarily, in order to glimpse some of the joy and awe of Christmas. ISAIAH 9:2-7 Look at Isaiah 8:19-22 to understand what kind of darkness the people have been walking in. Look at Judges 7 which describes the defeat of the Midianites referred to in verse 4. What kind of liberation is this that is promised or prophesied? How is it to happen? Verse 2 talks about "a great light." Who is or what is the great light? See verses 6-7. Imagine the people Isaiah was talking to and how they might have heard this news in their situation. How do you hear the news where you are at? Does this passage give you hope? What kind of Saviour are you looking for? Where do you find in the New Testament the fulfilment of this promise? Look at Matthew 4:12-17 and Luke 1:26-38 and John 8:12-20. How have you experienced the Living Christ? Which title or name do you feel most close to? Do you have yokes and burdens that need to be broken? Have you asked for this blessing (release from your burdens)? Psalm 96 This psalm of thanksgiving of King David also appears in I Chronicles 16:8-36. Why? When did it get sung? See I Chronicles 15 & 16:1-7. The song is addressed to different people in its three differing sections (verses 1-6, 7-10, 11- 13). Who are they? Why "sing a new song"? What is supposed to happen? What is the psalmist urging his hearers to do? Why will the trees of the forest "sing for joy?" How do you feel about that? Titus 2:11-14 What are we taught by "the grace of God?" Why? What did Jesus' first coming and death on the cross accomplish? What is our hope? Why is this important to think about on Christmas Eve? Or any other time of the year? Luke 2:1-20 Every year, on Christmas Eve, we try to imagine ourselves there, at the stable in Bethlehem, peeking over Mary's or Joseph's shoulders or around some big hairy animal "chuffing" in the cool night air. Our sense of awe and wonder; our deep, deep emotion and //our excitement and joy is infectious. We, of course, have the privilege of knowing the story in a different way than Mary and Joseph, who lived it. They knew the story in the fragments of everyday life, one day at a time, one significant happening at a time. How did they feel? They were living on the edge of God's promises much as we are today living on a set of promises. They were two ordinary folk who God had chosen, just as we have been chosen. You feel the power and the joy and the wonder of the Christmas story. Do you feel the power and the joy and the wonder of the Christian story? Are you an Easter Person as well as a Christmas Person? What does Christmas have to do with Easter? What does the Christmas story have to say about kings and rulers, about political and economic forces, about the "prisons" of rules and regulations built up around us, about impossible circumstances? Why do we see the power of earthly rulers so much more clearly than the power of God. Why did God send angels to the shepherds and not some other group? Read the Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55 again. Hear it as the shepherds, as Mary, might have heard it. God used ordinary people. What does that say to you about your own life with God? Do you hear God speaking to you in the events and people of your everyday life? MEDITATION/PRAYER The Following hymns and psalms are very useful for meditation and prayer. HYMNS Angels From The Realms Of Glory As With Gladness It Came Upon The Midnight Clear O Come All Ye Faithful Once In Royal David's City 'Twas In The Moon Of Winter Time Wise Men Seeking Jesus PSALMS - #'s 8, 45, 68, 89, 110, 112
Copyright 1996-2006 Charlene Elizabeth Fairchild
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