Advent: Week 3
Coming Home: Guidance is a Season of Fury
Read Matthew 2
Pastor Bruce wrote,
“Sometimes our nostalgia conjures up vivid scenes of Advent and Christmas that could be lifted off a Hallmark card. “Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.” Perhaps for some of us, that is a blessing. But for the rest of humanity (and Jesus himself) the Christmas story takes place in a maelstrom of threats and rage. Even before he is born, Herod is out to take his life. After he is born, his family flees to Egypt and they become refugees. When they return, it is too dangerous to live in Judea, so Jesus winds up in Nazareth.
Through it all, God’s provident love guides them, one step at a time. Even before they are aware of the threat, steps are bring taken to diffuse the threat of a tyrant. The Christmas story is a story of how God comes home to us when we are on the run, on the street, and out of luck. It’s a peace in the eye of a storm, serenity in a hostile environment, and divine presence mediated through the strangest people.
1. Read Matthew 2:1-12. Describe what’s happening in these verses.
2. Why were the wise men following the star?
3. Why was Herod, and all Jerusalem, troubled at the news of the wise men?
4. What did Herod ask the wise men to do and why? What was his real motive?
5. What did the wise men do when they found Jesus with Mary? Why?
6. Imagine all the wise men went through to find Jesus? What is it about Jesus that made their effort worth it?
7. Share your story of how you found Jesus? Was it easy or difficult? Did you ever consider turning back? Why didn’t you?
8. How would you describe Jesus to a friend who doesn’t know him? Would you paint a picture of someone worthy of worship?
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