Week 3 Sermon Questions For Groups
O Holy Night
Introduction: Two-thousand years ago the angels made the amazing and life-changing proclamation to the earth that a Savior had been born. That blessed event was to bring the essential elements of peace, joy, and hope to all those who believed. Christmas is the celebration of our Savior’s birth and it is during this season we should be reminded that these essential elements remain in the hearts of those who believe. Christmas carols can bring peace, encourage joy, and ignite hope in your heart.
Something To Talk About:
O Holy Night has to be one of the most powerful Christmas songs ever written. While originally written in French, it has been translated into many languages all over the world. Perhaps part of the power behind this song is that it does such a great job describing the character of Jesus and how His salvation impacts each and everyone one of us personally. Consider these four points:
- Remember God’s faithful love: The writer of Psalm 66 is not merely recalling all of the wonderful miracles of God’s past deliverances. He is also recalling painful chapters of trial and difficulty. He remembers when his feet were slipping, or his faith was being tested during a difficult period (vv. 9–10). He describes a period of going through “fire and flood” (v. 12). Yet, he also sees that even through all of this, God was faithful and “but you brought us to a place of great abundance.” (v. 12). Testifying to the faithfulness of God is important. God’s mighty acts are not merely wonderful things He did in the distant past, whether opening the Red Sea or sending Jesus Christ into the world. Psalm 66 gives us the assurance that someday we will look back on our current situation and see that, even there, God’s hand was guiding us and leading us. Take a moment to reflect on God’s faithfulness in your own life. Celebrate how your own life stands in continuity with all that God has done. The same God who heard the prayers of the people of God who cried out to Him long ago continues to hear our prayers today. We can say with the psalmist, “Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.” (v. 20).
- Trust God to provide exactly what I need: Romans 8:28 (ESV) is a powerful verse: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Notice the word all. If I really trust Him, then do I trust Him that He will bring good from a really bad day? From a difference of opinion with a loved one? Following a business transaction that didn’t go as expected? From a pandemic? Do I trust God despite my emotions or feelings? Do I trust God even when I don’t understand? If I trust that His word is true, then I must trust that everything He says is true. No matter your circumstances this holiday season, God died for you. And because God cares for me, I can trust Him. The three-letter “all” makes all the difference. Do you trust God? In everything? With everything?
- Depend on God for the hope to keep going: I think you would agree we live in interesting times. Times that chip away at our hope in a better future. What and who can we trust? The answer lies in Jesus. If NASA encounters a problem with a process, they go to the person who developed the process. If a problem is found in a new invention, they go to the inventor. Then it makes sense that if we have a “hope ” problem, we need to go to our creator … God. We can depend on God. You may face situations where you think you can do it because you are big or clever enough. In those situations, you might rely on yourself, but sometimes you may face situations that are too big. They are giants, bigger than you. There’s no way that you, in yourself, can beat it. In those situations, we need to realize that we can put our confidence in God. Ideally, you should learn to put your dependence on God in the small things and the big things. Even the things that you feel you can overcome, you can learn to trust God and put your dependence on Him. Make depending on God a lifestyle, where you look to God and rely on His resources and His ability working through you.
- Wait on God for the help I am seeking: I am not a fan of patiently waiting on God, but it seems to be a reoccurring theme in the Christian life. In fact, I think it’s time we consider doing it right because there are many benefits at the end of the trial. The goal is to wait with expectancy for an answer from God. We know God will answer us, but probably not in the way or the timeline we imagine. But we need to wait because He sees the big picture. Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly” (NIV). Faith is knowing that whatever we are waiting for is worth the wait. It pleases God when we have faith.
- Is O Holy Night one of your favorite Christmas carols? Why or why not?
- What aspect of God’s faithfulness is commonly forgotten? What makes this aspect so special and glorious?
- How can God restore His faithfulness in us?
- God’s care for His children is like the sun: it’s constant. Even though the clouds obscure it, it doesn’t mean the sun isn’t there. Agree or disagree and why?
- How does our level of trust testify to our relationship with Him?
- In what areas do you depend on God first and others second?
- If you were to constantly apply the practice of depending on God for our hope, how would the next week be different? What about in a year? How can we pray for you regarding this issue?
- How is waiting upon God related to us growing as a Christian? Why do we feel inadequate and confused during these “waiting” times?
- If we are going to seek God’s plan, what do we need to believe about it?
- As you reflect on Sunday’s message, what one principle or insight stands out as being particularly helpful, insightful, or difficult to grasp?
- If that sermon had to be re-delivered, what two points or ideas would you like included that were not included?
Take one thing home with you:
Sometimes, with Christmas songs, we just get into the routine of singing them without really paying attention to the words. It is a shame because the words can be truly beautiful. Take the fourth line of O Holy Night for example: “the soul felt its worth”. At first, I thought it was just a beautiful phrase, but it kept going through my head. Jesus appeared on earth after so many years of God’s people waiting and waiting for the Rescuer. Jesus’ birth now meant that what was once made broken, can now be made whole. We are made whole through Christ alone.
Imagine the shepherds, just sitting out in the fields, when all of a sudden they get this incredible news in an incredible way. It’s been 400 years and God’s people felt like God had abandoned them, but He didn’t. He never does. The shepherds are given the greatest news ever shared while they’re just hanging out with their sheep. What a gift. What a night. Take time during this busy season to listen, really listen, to the words of Christmas carols and the beauty in proclaiming the Savior’s birth.