WEEK TWO – EXTENDED REFLECTION OF PASSAGE
Insights on The Joy of Birth: Luke 2:8-19 (NIV)
NOTE FOR GROUP LEADER: With the group, read or listen to the passage again and discuss any, or all, of the reflection questions. Items needed: Reading passage and questions.
Luke 2:8-19 (NIV)
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. (NIV Luke 2:8-19)
Note to group leader: Use the following questions for reflection/discussion after the reading. You may select just a few based on your group.
- From where you stood, what did you see? what was happening inside you? What were you thinking? Feeling?
- Why do you think that the angels brought the good news of the birth of Jesus to the humblest of workers and not to the leaders or kings?
- If the angels were to bring the message today, to whom would they bring the “good news?” Why?
- How would you react if an angel were to bring you this message? What would you do?
- Imagine you have arrived at the site of the birth and see Mary holding the Christ Child. What are your thoughts? How do you feel? What would you say to Mary and Joseph?
- Try, for a moment, to consider Mary and Joseph. How do you think they are feeling and reacting when the shepherds (and you) arrive?
- Explain what you think Luke meant when he wrote, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
- What would you do after this blessed visit? What would you say to others?
- Would such a visit change your life? If so, how? If not, why not?
- What is the message that our Messiah would bring today?
- How would people react today if they were to read or hear such a news report?
- Would such news today change the world? If so, how? If not, why not?
NOTE TO GROUP LEADER: At the end of the session, you may want to allow a few moments for open discussion and what the session may have meant for the group.