Fourth Sunday of Advent: December 20th
Reflect: Matthew 2:12
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
Discuss: By whom and how were the wise men warned not to return back to Herod? Did they obey the warning or question it? Have you ever been warned about a bad situation? What did you do? Were you like the wise men? What was the result?
Monday of the fourth week of Advent: December 21st
Reflect: Matthew 2:13-15
When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Discuss: Why did Joseph have to take his family and go to Egypt? Did he argue or wait? When God gives you a commandment, how quickly do you obey? When was a time you chose to do God’s will right away? How did that decision bless your life?
Tuesday of the fourth week of Advent: December 22nd
Reflect: Matthew 2:16
When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Discuss: What terrible thing did King Herod do after he found out the wise men went home without coming back to him? What makes some people do horrible things? How can we find peace when bad things happen to good people? What can we do to be influences for good and stand up for those who cannot protect themselves?
Wednesday of the fourth week of Advent: December 23rd
Reflect: Matthew 2:23
He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean.”
Discuss: Where did Joseph and Mary go after they left Egypt? Why? (To fulfill the prophecy.) How can we learn more about God’s plans for us? How can we help God fulfill his plans?
Thursday of the fourth week of Advent: Christmas Eve - December 24th
Reflect: Isaiah 9:6
His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, Upon David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains. By judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!
Discuss: What are some of the names for Jesus Christ taught to us by an Old Testament prophet? Which name for Jesus do you love most? Why?
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord: Christmas Day - December 25th
Reflect: John 20:11-16
But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni," which means Teacher.
Discuss: Jesus was not only born for us, but he lived, died, and was resurrected for us so we can have joy in this life and life with him again. In these few short scriptures, we can see how much he loves each one of us. He knows our names, our pains, and our burdens. When was a time you felt close to your Savior? When did you feel like he was reaching out to you or holding you in his loving arms? How do you feel about him today?