December 7: Divine Examples
1. Have you ever had unexpected guests show up at mealtime? What did you do? After this experience, how did this change the way you planned for and prepared meals?
2. Do you think the feeding of the five thousand was a divine miracle or a human one? Could it be both? How would your understanding of the story change depending on which you think it is?
3. When have you observed an act of generosity that inspired another generous act? In what ways did it encourage you to live more generously each day?
4. When have you been on the receiving end of a donation that made all the difference for you? In what ways did that miracle of generosity change your situation? How did you respond?
5. How will you share generously with others this season? What might it look like to include one more person at each meal? What difference do you want to make in the lives of others?
December 14: The News Is Good
1. Does your family have a treasured recipe or tradition this time of year? Why do you think we pass recipes and traditions down through the generations?
2. How do you relate to the writer’s experience of having a tattered and worn heart by the end of each year? What brings you renewal when those feelings arise?
3. What Bible stories or faith traditions help you and your family reconnect with God in the Christmas season? How do you reconnect with God other times of the year?
4. Does this time of year bring you renewal like it does for today’s writer? Why or why not? Name specific ways you will seek God’s renewing love this season.
5. After a difficult year, is it easier or harder for you to remember the good news of Christ? Why? In what ways does your church community help you remember the good news and find peace?
December 21: The Power of Presence
1. Has your church ever lost a beloved leader? How did that loss change your church? Where did the congregation find strength during this time?
2. When has someone’s trust in you given you the confidence to move forward? Why do you think it is so helpful for us to have someone believe in our abilities?
3. When have you witnessed the power of presence in your life or the life of a loved one? Why is it so important to sit with others in their experiences and to show them that we are there for them?
4. Do you ever feel like you can’t do anything useful for the people around you? What scripture passages encourage you in these times? How does prayer help you?
5. Why is it sometimes easy to forget to spend time with God? Name some spiritual practices that help to keep you in God’s presence.
December 28: All of Creation
1. What is the most interesting part of creation that you have observed? What does it teach you about both God and creation?
2. In what ways are you encouraged by the fact that God cares for even the smallest parts of creation? How does that knowledge strengthen your faith when you pray or seek God’s help?
3. When you begin feeling like a small or unimportant part of the world, what scripture passages remind you that God hears and loves you? When have you witnessed that truth in your own life?
4. As you ponder God’s care for every creature in the universe, what thoughts about God come to mind? What is it like to know that you cannot comprehend the magnitude of God’s love and care?
5. In what ways do you strive to mirror God’s care and love for creation? How do you attempt to show care to everyone and everything you encounter each day?