UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC YOUTH & YOUNG ADULTS

Archeparchy of Winnipeg

Insight: Christmas ideas and talks

Rethinking Christmas

Christmas lights

How much do you really know about the first Christmas? Perhaps we’ve heard the story so many times we know it well. Or do traditions sometimes overtake the truth?

‘Rethinking Christmas’ is a chance to explore the Bible narrative with your young people through games and creative activities.


CHRISTMAS RUN-AROUND

Ideal for younger teenagers. This active ‘run-around’ quiz will test your group’s knowledge of the accounts in Matthew and Luke, providing a platform for further discussion or reflection.

Set up four zones in your room or hall (zone A, B, C and D.) Ask the group to gather in the middle of the hall. Explain that you will ask a question about the Christmas story which has four possible answers (A, B, C or D.)

Then on your signal (a whistle is good) the young people have 10 seconds to run to the zone which they think represents the correct answer. Once everyone is in a zone, the whistle blows again and they have 5 seconds (if they wish to change their mind) to change zones.

For example; With what words did the heavenly host of angels praise God?

A Joy to the world, the lord is come
B O little town of Bethlehem
C Hark the herald angels sing
D Glory to God in the highest

Find out by downloading Rethinking Christmas (pdf) which contains this complete article including the ‘run-around’ quiz questions and an alternative (or additional) word search introducing the main characters and places in the nativity account.

– See more at: http://insight.typepad.co.uk/insight/2008/12/rethinking-christmas.html#sthash.oVsQ8byX.dpuf

CHRISTMAS ‘CINQUAIN’

A cinquian (pronounced ‘sin-CANE’) is a five lined poem whose rhythm relies on the number of syllables in each line. First created in 1911, these were short unrhymed poems consisting of twenty-two syllables. They were distributed into 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 syllables in five lines.

Divide the young people into pairs and invite them to create a special advent or Christmas poem illustrating the feelings of one of the people involved or highlighting something of the real meaning of Christmas.

This is a great way to dig deeper into the thoughts and feelings of characters in the story or to reflect on the real meaning of the coming of Christ.

Create an five line poem based on the ‘cinquain’ method where,

  • Line one has only one word, the title of the poem. (Noun).
  • Line two has two words, describing the title. (Adjectives).
  • Line three has three action words (or a three-word phrase) that tell you something that the title can do (Verbs).
  • Line four has four words (or a four word phrase) describing a feeling about your title.
  • Line five is one word that refers back to your title (Synonym).

Here is my own five minute attempt on the story of the wise men coming to see Jesus.

MAGI
GAZING UPWARD
HOPEFUL JOYFUL SEARCHING
FOLLOWING THE EASTERN STAR
WISE

Now have a go yourself. You could begin with words like Mary, Angels Shepherds, Baby, Saviour, Christ, Jesus, Star, Light, Hope. Invite some of the young people to read out their five line ‘cinquain’ poems.

REFLECTION

Prepare some discussion questions on the story to help your young people reflect on what they can learn from it today. For example,

  • How do you think the teenager Mary felt when she heard the angel’s words? How do you react when you sense God calls you to a new, surprising or challenging task? What can we learn from Mary’s response and example?
  • Why do you think Jesus was born in such humble circumstances? How does that make you feel about him today?
  • The angel announced ‘Good News’ to the shepherds, who then spread that news to others. How could you share this same ‘Good News’ in the next few days?

OR

Close with a short message or reflection on our own response to the first Christmas. Is it just an annual celebration? An opportunity to get that games console? The birth of a world religion? God demonstrating his love for mankind? God showing his love for ME? How do we respond to the birth of Jesus?

– See more at: http://insight.typepad.co.uk/insight/2008/12/rethinking-christmas.html#sthash.oVsQ8byX.dpuf

The First Christmas

Christmas candles‘The First Christmas’ takes another look at the historical account of the birth of Jesus. The thoughts and feelings of the main characters are brought to life through the group discussion, role play and interviews.

Read the story in a modern version of the bible.

The texts are Luke 1:26-38, Luke 2:1-20, Matthew 1:18-25 and Matthew 2:1-18.

If necessary, explain any unusual words in the story. Engage the young people with an interactive reading including narrator(s), angel(s), wise men, King Herod, King Herod’s advisors and shepherds. Have Bibles available for the group activities or print the passages on a worksheet.

Divide the young people into small groups of 4 to discuss the reactions of one of the main characters in the story. Give a character or character group i.e. wise men to each small group.

  • Mary – when first told she was to be Jesus’ mother.
  • Joseph – when he learned his fiancé was pregnant.
  • Mary and Joseph – when told they would have to journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census.
  • Shepherds – when they heard the message from the angels and went to see the baby.
  • Wise men-their compelling desire to visit the new king in spite of the long journey to get there.
  • Herod – when he discovered there was a new king whom he thought would challenge his own position.

Points for the young people to consider in their discussion:

  • What were their immediate reactions or feelings?
  • How did these change as they were told and understood more?
  • What did they do?
  • Why did they do this and what did it show?

After a time of discussion the reactions can be shared with the rest of the group by;

  • Role play of different scenes.
  • Writing a short piece in the form of a newspaper report (for the ‘Jerusalem Post’ or the ‘Bethlehem Evening Star’).
  • A ‘live’ on-the-ground interview with the character for local radio.

REFLECTION

Summarise the reactions of the different characters to the birth of Jesus. What is our reaction to the story of the first Christmas? How do we respond to the birth of Jesus? Is it just a story? Just an annual celebration? An opportunity to get that games console? The birth of a world religion? God demonstrating his love for mankind? God showing his love for me?

 

LEADERS BACKGROUND NOTES

The story of the first Christmas is recorded in two gospels of Matthew and Luke which were both written around 60-90 AD. Matthew is generally considered to be the same Matthew who was a disciple (and ex-tax collector) who lived and worked with Jesus throughout the three years of his public ministry. As a Jew, writing for a Jewish audience, he was concerned with explaining the significant events which took place to fulfil the prophesies recorded in the Jewish scriptures, which we now call the Old Testament. Luke however, was writing for a Roman noble called Theophilus with the express purpose of producing a historically accurate record of events on which Theophilius could base his understanding of the Christian faith.

The two accounts, then, were written in different circumstances and with different readers in view. Consequently it is not possible to combine the two stories completely. Matthew, for instance, does not appear to be concerned with geography or chronology, so details of these have to be taken from Luke’s account. Luke does not mention the visit of the magi, whereas Matthew made sure his Jewish friends understood that Jesus was welcomed at this birth by both Jews and non-Jews. The stories are not inconsistent, simply reflections of the different perspectives of the authors.

– See more at: http://insight.typepad.co.uk/insight/2007/12/the-first-chris.html#sthash.IM4Ptz6e.dpuf

Giving to others at Christmas

Candles We all like to think about what we might receive at Christmas, but Christmas is also a time of giving.

We look forward to what people will give us, but our giving to others can make a big difference to their Christmas and their understanding about the birth of Jesus.

This resource can be used as part of a youth night, youth club or Christmas presentation. It works well with 11-14’s but please adapt according to the knowledge and age of your group.

GIVE A GIFT

 Bring in some colour magazines or catalogues which contain lots of ideas for gift items. Divide your group into teams of 4 or 5 and give each a magazine, a large piece of paper, scissors, paste and pen. Tell them they need to make a collage of gifts they would send to the following people,

  • Dad
  • Mother
  • A baby
  • The queen, (or president, prime minister)
  • Your best friend
  • Your wonderful youth leader!
  • Yourself

For older groups you can also add the extra factor of working to a budget $1000.

What factors do we consider when choosing a present for a person? Discuss. Answers might include; the person you are giving it to, your own preference, how much you think of them, what price you are willing to pay.

Who did you give your most expensive present to? Why? What did you give a baby? What did you give the queen/president? How much did you spend on yourself? What do these answers show about what you think of the person you are giving the gift to?What ways can we give to others at Christmas to help them enjoy the celebration or help them discover the true meaning of Christmas? What ideas can you think of? Giving presents, sending Christmas cards, donations to a Christmas appeal for people in need, carol singing etcREFLECTIONHow could we as a group put this into practice? Encourage discussion and creative ideas. What could they do in the wider community? Plan and follow this through with them if you can. It will change their perspective on Christmas! Visit a local hospital children’s ward, give to a Christmas appeal, visit a homeless shelter, make Christmas cards for folks who will feel and be alone this Christmas. The simple activity of making cards and delivering them can make a big difference to those who receive them and the group as they think of others at Christmas.

– See more at: http://insight.typepad.co.uk/insight/2007/12/giving-to-other.html#sthash.w8GL8nwy.dpuf

Christmas around the world

Christmas star‘Christmas around the World’ helps young people discover more about Christmas traditions, think about the worldwide church and encourage prayer for believers who live in places where this Christmas they will continue to be persecuted for their Christian faith.

These Christmas resources can be used as part of a youth night, youth club or Christmas presentation.

FINISH THE PHRASE

 The opening icebreaker begins the session by asking the group about their own experiences of Christmas and their expectations for this year. Write the ten unfinished phrases onto cards and place a number (1-10) on the other side. Explain to the group that the cards contain a phrase about Christmas which they need to finish i.e. the best present I ever had was… Ask a young person to select a number and finish the phrase. The same number can be selected more than once. Play until as many as want to have had a go, get involved yourself and encourage your helpers to participate.

  • The most exciting thing about Christmas is…
  • The happiest Christmas I ever had was…
  • My favourite food at Christmas is…
  • The best party I have ever been to was…
  • The worst thing about Christmas is…
  • The best present I ever had was…
  • I like Christmas because…
  • I think Christmas is important because…
  • The present I most want for Christmas is…
  • My most embarrassing moment at Christmas was…

Ask the group about what they are hoping to do this Christmas? Will they be visiting anyone? Ask if any of the young people have celebrated Christmas in another country. Do they have any friends or family in other countries to tell them about their celebrations? Introduce the theme that Christmas – the coming of Jesus as Saviour of the world – is celebrated around the world through many different activities and traditions. Introduce the two quizzes as an opportunity to discover more about Christmas sayings and traditions around the world.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS

 The aim of this game is to match the languages to the countries. Divide into teams of six and provide each team a set of 24 cards, 12 with ‘Happy Christmas’ in each language and 12 with the country names. Each team has 3 minutes to match the languages and the countries. The winning team gets to wish the group a ‘Happy Christmas’ in the language of their choice!

  • Czech Republic – Vesele Vanoce
  • Finland – Hauskaa Joulua
  • Norway – Gledelig Jul
  • Italy – Buon Natale
  • Germany – Frohliche Weihnachten
  • France – Joyeux Noel
  • Greek – Kala Christouyenna
  • Korean – Sung Tan Chuk Ha
  • Bangladesh – Shuvo Baro Din
  • Egypt – Mboni Chrismen
  • Russian Federation – Hristos Razdajetsja
  • Thailand – Ewadee Pe-e Mai


AROUND THE WORLD

Preparation: provide copies of an alphabetical list of the countries of the world. This is easily found through a Google search. Have a map of the world available for the young people to view.

Divide your group into teams of 4 for the quiz. There are 12 questions about Christmas traditions around the world. Each group can use their country list to help them select their answer. Each group then writes down their 1st choice and 2nd choice answer. Three points are awarded for a correct 1st choice and one point for a 2nd choice.
In which G did the tradition of Christmas trees start? Germany

In which M do they hang jars or paper bags filled with sweets called ‘piñatas’ and decorated with tinsel, from the ceiling of the house or in the doorway. Children are blindfolded and given a stick to try and hit the bag and break it open? Mexico

In which N do they use a blossoming tree called a ‘pohutukawa’ as a Christmas tree instead of a fir tree? New Zealand

In which M do people make paper stars with candles inside them to hang on their houses? Myanmar (Burma)

In which N do families light a candle every evening from Christmas Eve until New Year? Norway

In which U is there a town called Santa Claus? USA

In which C do they have a special meal on December 5th where they leave one spare place at the table for the Christ child who is yet to come? Czech Republic

In which F do families cook ginger bread together and make rotating advent candles? Finland

In which I do they exchange gifts on January 6th delivered by ‘La Befana’ who leaves the presents in their shoes? Italy

In which S are children given their presents by the wise men not Santa Claus? Traditionally the children leave out straw for the camels and their shoes for the present to be placed upon. Spain

In which S do they celebrate St Lucia’s day on December 13th? Sweden

In which U do the children have a special feast of 12 courses representing the 12 disciples? A child from the family has to look out of the window and when the first star appears in the sky the feasting begins. Ukraine

The team which scores the most points helps find the countries mentioned in the closing thoughts, on your map of the world.

REFLECTION

Christmas is a great time for celebration and it’s a celebration we can share with other Christians around the world. BUT in some countries being a follower of Jesus means persecution and suffering for your faith. Illustrate what this means with a personal story. Resources can be found at Open Doors International, International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, or Google to find other helpful sites.

Open Doors ‘World Watch’ list 50 countries in the world where Christians are suffering for their faith. Included in that list are the countries of North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Indonesia, Belarus, and Nepal. Ask the young people to find these countries on your world map and identify them with a pin or sticker.

Encourage the group to divide into pairs and write a short Christmas prayer for believers who live in these nations. They might want to pray for a peaceful Christmas, for freedom, for justice, for grace and strength, for the daily needs of families. Conclude by praying together. Either read the prayers out loud or stick them to the world map with a short silent vigil.

– See more at: http://insight.typepad.co.uk/insight/2007/12/christmas-aroun.html#sthash.WxJnX2te.dpuf

 

Christmas unwrapped

christmas unwrappedTwo Christmas icebreakers and a youth talk on giving gifts and God’s greatest gift in Jesus. Help young people look afresh at the Christmas story and reflect on the real meaning of Christmas.

This Christmas resource can be used as part of a youth night, youth club or Christmas presentation. It works well with 11-14’s but please adapt according to the knowledge and age of your group.

Gifts are an important part of Christmas for everyone. We all like to receive gifts, but Christmas also provides an opportunity to give gifts to our family and friends. What kind of presents are you buying this year for your mum, dad, brother, sister or best friend? Discuss.

Introduce the two icebreakers by explaining that we are going to practice wrapping a gift – but with a few differences!

TEAM WRAP

 Preparation: two large cardboard boxes, Christmas wrapping paper, two pairs of scissors, tape, two ribbons or bows and a whistle.

Select two teams of six young people who stand at one side of the room. At the other side is placed a large cardboard box for each team with wrapping paper, scissors, tape, ribbon and a bow. Explain that at your signal the first person runs across the room to the box and begins to wrap it. After 15 secs a whistle will blow and they must run back to the other side of the room and tag the next team member who continues the wrapping process. End the relay when the box is wrapped or everyone has had a turn. Encourage everyone for their efforts and award a small gift to everyone for taking part! Come on its Christmas!

BLIND MAN’S WRAP

 Preparation: Two cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, tape, two ribbons or bows, two blindfolds.

Select two volunteers and stand them beside two large cardboard boxes of equal size. Give each volunteer some wrapping paper (cut roughly to size), tape and ribbon (but no scissors). Ask them to wrap up the box, then just as they are about to begin, add that they must perform the task blindfolded. Comment on the results and award a small gift to both participants.

THE JOURNEY OF THE MAGI

Read Matthew 2: 1-12. The magi had travelled hundreds of miles, to bring their gifts to Jesus. The items they brought were all precious gifts possibly from the areas of Arabia, Persia or Babylonia (now the south west regions of Asia and Iran/Iraq). They were undoubtedly expensive and an indication of the highest honour and respect which they wanted to give to Jesus.

The gospels give no other reason for the magi bringing gifts or what use they were put to by Mary and Joseph. However, within a few hundred years of Jesus’ birth, Christians had begun to attach symbolic significance to each of the gifts that were brought and they began to include the story of the magi’s visit to the story of Christmas.

REFLECTION

What were the three gifts brought by the wise men? The three gifts brought to Jesus might seem a little unusual to us. Does anyone know what they were? Gold is easy, but what is frankincense and myrrh? (Frankincense was a sweet smelling resin (gum) and Myrrh was an expensive spice).

When people choose gifts for others they often try to fit the gift to the person they are giving it to. Give a personal example of a gift you have given to a family member or friend. The wise men did the same and the gifts they brought help us to understand what they knew about Jesus and the kind of person they believed he was going to be.

  • Gold was something that was given to kings.
  • Frankincense was a sweet smelling resin (gum) used in ceremonies by the priest as they prayed to God for the people.
  • Myrrh was an expensive spice placed on a body at burial.

What do you think these gifts tell us about the kind of person Jesus was going to be and what would happen to him in the future? Discuss.

Christmas is a time to give and receive gifts, but let us not forget that God’s greatest gift to us was Jesus, his own Son. His coming was not by chance, but part of God’s plan to show his love to mankind and give us the opportunity to restore our broken relationship with him.

– See more at: http://insight.typepad.co.uk/insight/2007/12/christmas-unwra.html#sthash.gJRZFD7d.dpuf

Christmas – what’s in a name?

christmas starA Christmas icebreaker and youth talk reflecting on the name and titles given to Jesus.

This Christmas resource can be used as part of a youth night, youth club or Christmas presentation. It works well with 11-14’s but please adapt according to the knowledge and age of your group.

How was your first name chosen? Usually it’s by our parents, who choose names they like or names from within the family. Sometimes it might be from someone they admire, or a famous person or a celebrity.

Ask the young people if they know why their first name was chosen. Was it after someone older in their family? Do they know what their first name means? Give time for responses.

Explain that many of our names today have been passed down through history and often originate in other languages. In Europe many names are derived from Latin or the Greek and Hebrew languages. Most originally described something about the person who was given the name i.e. Timothy (from the Greek) which means ‘one who honours God.’

NAME CHECK

 Look up the first names of your group and find their meaning. This can be done in advance, but it’s more interesting and fun to do it together. Get a book of baby names from any bookseller or go online and explore the various listings on the origin of names. Here you will find lists of names and their meanings from around the world. Be aware that meanings may vary and not all names will be traceable in this way, especially ‘new’ or ‘unusual’ ones which don’t have a long history. Here are a few common English examples. The root language is given in brackets.

 GIRLS

Ann (Hebrew) full of grace
Emma (German) a woman of command
Debbie (Hebrew) The bee – an industrious woman who looks for what is sweet in life
Margaret (Latin) a pearl
Rachel (Hebrew) Innocent as a lamb
Sarah (Hebrew) princess
Susan (Hebrew) graceful lily
Victoria (Latin) the victorious one
Hannah (Hebrew) grace

BOYS

 Joshua (Hebrew) God rescues
Andrew (Greek) strong and manly
David (Hebrew) the beloved one
George (Greek) the farmer
John (Hebrew) god’s gracious gift
Neil (Gaelic) the champion
Paul (Latin) little
Robert (German) a man of brilliant reputation
Matthew (Hebrew) gift of god
Timothy (Greek) one who honours god
Stephen (Greek) crown or wreath
And for the record, Grahame means ‘from the farm or homestead.’ I’m disappointed!

REFLECTION

As we approach December 25th and we think again about the story of the first Christmas, we remember the birth a baby who was given the name Jesus. Do you know how his name chosen and does it have a special meaning? Read Luke 1:26-38 and Matthew 1:18-23

Luke and Matthew tells us that Jesus’ name was not chosen by his mother or father, but was given to him directly by God and his name (Jesus) means ‘God saves.’ Matthew also records a mention of the title Emmanuel (Matt 1:23) which means ‘God is with us.’ In Lukes account, Jesus is also referred to as the ‘Saviour’ and the ‘Christ’ (Luke 2:11).

What do you think the name and titles given to Jesus tell us about him and his future? Discuss.

Jesus ‘the Lord saves.’ Jesus came to earth to save us because we can’t ourselves escape from sin and its consequences. Jesus came to rescue us from the power and penalty of sin.

Emmanuel ‘God is with us.’ This title reminds us that Jesus was God in human form and literally ‘with us.’ Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is present in the lives of every believer today. Do you know the presence of Jesus in your life this Christmas?

– See more at: http://insight.typepad.co.uk/insight/2007/12/whats-in-a-name.html#sthash.28YbhEhI.dpuf

The real meaning of Christmas

Christmas treeA Christmas icebreaker, quiz and talk helping young people to look afresh at the Christmas story and reflect on the real meaning of Christmas.

These resources can be used as part of a youth night, youth club or Christmas presentation. They work well with 11-14’s but please adapt according to the knowledge and age of your group.

 CALL MY BLUFF

 Explain to the group that they have to guess the correct meaning of each word. Only one description is correct. Read out or display the word and then give the three different meanings. Have the group divide into three smaller groups according to which description they believe is correct.

I’m sure you know all the answers! However, just in case, the correct answers are given at the end of the article! If you wish, choose your own words and add your own creative descriptions.

FALCHION

  1. Another name for a ships wheel
  2. A broad curved sword
  3. A blindfold used by falconers on their birds of prey

GAZEBO

  1. A structure built to provide a view
  2. A species of east African antelope
  3. A type of boat used on the great barrier reef in Australia

MARIMBA

  1. An alcoholic Peruvian drink
  2. An African xylophone
  3. A lively Spanish dance

FELUCCA

  1. A loose woollen cloak worn by Arab men
  2. An agricultural tool, like a pickaxe, used in India
  3. A small coastal boat used in the Mediterranean

MANGEL-WURZEL

  1. A large vegetable, like a beetroot, used as cattle food
  2. Another name for a scarecrow
  3. An old type of washing machine

Where would you look to find the correct meaning or description of a word like the ones we have used in the quiz? (Dictionary) A dictionary helps us to discover the true meaning of a word. What about a word like Christmas? The dictionary says ‘The annual festival of Christ’s birth, celebrated on December 25th’ (Oxford Modern English Dictionary). Well, the dictionary definition helps, but it doesn’t give many details or much information.

What would happen if we polled 100 people about how they would describe Christmas? We might get lots of different thoughts – it’s a holiday, a time to visit friends, a time to go to church, a time to sing carols, a time to relax and watch TV, a time to eat lots of food and a time to give and receive presents. All those things might be true, but is there more and how much do we really know about the first Christmas?

Introduce the Advent calendar quiz. The quiz is a mixture of questions from the story of the first Christmas and general knowledge (or guesswork!) about the Christmas celebrations around the world.
ADVENT CALENDAR QUIZ 

This very day in David’s town your Saviour was born – Christ the Lord! (Good News Bible, TEV)

Write each word of the verse (Luke 2:11) on a card and number the cards 1-13 on the other side. Stick the cards to a board or wall in order (numbered side up so that the words cannot be seen). Divide your group into two teams. Each team then takes turns to choose a number and a corresponding question is given.

If the answer is correct they receive the number of points equivalent to the number of letters in the word i.e. very=4, Saviour=7 (except in the USA where it will= 6!). Incorrect answers are passed to the other team for bonus points. If neither team answers correctly then the next round begins with a team choosing a new number. A further question can be asked when the same number is chosen again.The winning team is the one who collects the most points. An element of skill enters the game if any of the team members guess the sentence and can then select the highest value cards.

  1. Give three other names used to describe Jesus in the story of the first Christmas? Saviour, Messiah, Christ, Emmanuel.
  2. What was the name of the angel who told Mary she was going to have a baby? Gabriel.
  3. ‘Joyeux Noel‘ means Happy Christmas in which country. France, Finland, or Fiji? France.
  4. In which two gospels can you read about the birth of Jesus? Matthew and Luke.
  5. In which country do they celebrate St Lucia’s day on December 13th. St Lucia, Sweden or El Salvador? Sweden.
  6. What was the name of Mary’s relative who had a baby before Mary? Elizabeth.
  7. Which king was Jesus a descendent of? David.
  8. Instead of a fir tree which country uses a ‘Pohukawa’ tree for a Christmas tree? Nigeria, New Zealand or Nicaragua? New Zealand.
  9. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but which town did Mary and Joseph come from? Nazareth.
  10. ‘Mboni Chrismen’ means Happy Christmas in which country. Egypt, Ecuador or Estonia? Egypt.
  11. ‘Feliz Navidad’ means Happy Christmas in which country. South Africa, Spain or Slovakia? Spain.
  12. Who was the king at the time of Jesus birth? Herod.
  13. Name the three gifts brought to Jesus by the wise men? Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

Additional questions:

  1. ‘Sung Tan Chuk Ha’ means Happy Christmas in which country. Korea, Kenya or Kazakhstan? Korea.
  2. You get this jumbled word at Christmas SENTREPS? Presents.
  3. ‘FAT HERMITS CRASH’ is an anagram of which Christmas person? Father Christmas.
  4. Where is there a town called Santa Claus. Australia, Austria or America? America.

Congratulate the winning team. Suggest that to find out the facts and the real story behind Christmas, we need to look again at the story in the Bible. Read Luke 2:1-20.

REFLECTION

Close with a short Christmas reflection on the angel’s message to the shepherds (Luke 2:10-11)

‘But the angel reassured them. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Saviour—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!’ Luke 2:10,11.

At a time planned by God the greatest event in history has just happened. The Messiah has been born. The Good News about Jesus is that he comes to anyone with a heart humble enough to accept him as king. Who will rule in your life this Christmas?

ANSWERS

 FALCHION A broad curved sword.
GAZEBO A structure built to provide a view.
MARIMBA An African xylophone.
FELUCCA A small coastal boat used in the Mediterranean.
MANGEL-WURZEL A large vegetable, like a beetroot, used as cattle food.

– See more at: http://insight.typepad.co.uk/insight/2007/12/real-christmas.html#sthash.JyxOnNpa.dpuf

 

DISCOVERY CHURCH


Sermon Series “Christmas: It’s Complicated”
“Relationships”
ICEBREAKER QUESTION
What are the qualities you look for in a friendship?
INTRODUCTION
In the Christmas season, we think a lot about relationships as we spend time with
family and friends. Through the book of Proverbs, we discover why we need real
relationships in our lives.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. Read Proverbs 27:5-10 again. How would you describe a real friend?
2. How would you describe a ‘fair weather’ friend?
3. What is the key to the difference?
4. Are you a real friend to anyone? Do you have many friends or a few real
friends? What’s better?
5. Is a person’s best friend necessarily determined by whom he/she spends the
most time with?
6. Why is it so difficult to speak truth into someone’s life? Have you had any
experience whether it was positive or negative?
7. Do you have someone who speaks truth into your life? Why or why not?
8. Pastor Caleb states in his sermon that “Relationships are an extension of
God’s grace”. What do you think he means and how should this influence
our relationships?
MOVING FORWARD
Friends are valuable and precious, one of the greatest blessings a man has. Even
family relationships, if not founded on deep caring and sharing, cannot have the
depth of quality that a real friendship has. Superficial friends are easily gained and
lost, but true friends are for a lifetime. To be a true friend, we have to be willing to
both receive and speak truth into each other’s lives. Because real relationships
refine.
APPLICATION
(Private Reflection During the Week)
Reflect this week on how you can grow in the wisdom of the Lord and apply this
wisdom in your daily life. 1) Think about a friend or family member that you need to have a difficult
conversation with? Who is someone that you need to speak the truth in
love?
2) Don’t procrastinate. Ask God for wisdom and courage to speak truth and
then do it.
3) Think about a person that has permission to speak truth into your life? If
there isn’t anyone, pray, and look for a person that you trust.
(All Together)
Share your prayer requests. Now take some time to pray for one another. Thank
God for the current relationships and friendships you have. Ask Him to give you
relationships that will allow you to both give and receive truth that will refine and
sharpen your relationship with God.
“A friends loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

http://discoverychurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/relationships.pdf

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