Week 1: Hope (Matthew 1:18-25)
How to Be Certain When We’re Unsure
- What special traditions contributed to “A Certain Kind of Christmas” in your childhood home? What are your favorite Christmas traditions today?
- What feels “certain” in your life right now?
- Where are you wrestling with uncertainty?
- Our text this weekend, Matthew 1:18-25, touched on several themes: betrayal (or the perception of it), duty, fear, shame, disgrace. Which of these themes resonates the most and why?
- Advent is a season of longing, expectation, and preparation. How will you prepare to have a Christ-centered Advent this year?
Week 2: Joy (Luke 2:1-15)
How to be Certain When Doors Close
- Share one of your most joyful Christmas memories.
- Would you characterize yourself as a joyful person? Why or why not? Do you think other people would characterize you as joyful, or “spiritually optimistic”?
- Read Luke 2:1-15. What stands out to you either from the text itself, or from the sermon this weekend?
- How can we be certain if our circumstances don’t always align with our plans?
- How does anxiety rob us of joy? Would anyone like to illustrate with a personal example? What next steps can we take to welcome joy into our lives?
Week 3: Love (Matthew 2:1-23)
How to be Certain There’s a Big Picture
- When was the last time you felt like you couldn’t see the “big picture”?
- What are some reasons we tend to lose sight of the bigger picture of God’s sovereignty, eternity, and future hope?
- In our text this weekend, Matthew 2:1-23, we saw how Herod’s fear and uncertainty led to horrific suffering and oppression. How can uncertainty be dangerous?
- Can you think of a time when you acted out of fear or anxiety and hurt someone else as a result? How did you mend the relationship?
- When facing persecution or suffering, what are some practical ways we can keep our eyes fixed on the bigger picture?
Week 4: Peace (Luke 2:25-40)
How to be Certain Our Faithfulness Will Be Rewarded
- On a scale of 1-10, how much peace would you say you’re feeling lately?
- What is the number one thing that robs you of peace? In other words, what keeps you up at night; where do your anxious thoughts tend to gravitate? How do you push back against anxiety?
- Read Luke 2:25-40. What’s your biggest takeaway from the life of either Simeon or Anna?
- What does it look like to be certain of the future when the reward is so far away?
- How has your sense of certainty grown as a result of this Advent series? What next steps have you taken?
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