12/4 – “Brighter!” series 1 of 4, Hebrews

Summary of Hebrews: http://www.gotquestions.org/Book-of-Hebrews.html

Hebrews 1:1-4

Hebrews 8:7-11

Hebrews 7:11-25

Christmas of Contrast in 2012

Check out some ideas for creative gifting! Christmas 2011

IN A NUTSHELL – As Christmas lights go up this year, we want to begin to think about those things that are most important about the Christmas season.  Jesus’ birth ushered in a whole new level of brightness to a very dark world.  The book of Hebrews is about people who were struggling with “Jesus fatigue.”  Honestly, faith in Jesus had made their lives more difficult.  Persecution, abandonment, and loneliness had set in.  They were beginning to recall the joy of festivals and traditions, that while spiritually empty, were at least familiar.  The message of Hebrews is to keep your eye on Jesus.  HE IS the brighter light!

What is Advent?  Check this out… The Christian Resource Institute 

Here is an e-book for parents and preschoolers that outline Bible readings and activities that bring the truth of  the Christmas story to light for children at the earliest age.  Truth in the Tinsel

ICE BREAKER –If you were asked to describe the best Christmas tradition memory ever, what would it be?  And why?

CONNECTING TO THE TEXT

  1. Hebrews 7:18-22:  What is “the former Commandment?” Rom 8:3; Gal 4:9
  2. By what do we “draw near to God?”
  3. What is the “guarantor” of a covenant?
  4. Hebrews 11:1-4: What made Abel’s sacrifice “more acceptable?”  of in other words – “better?”
  5. What is a good definition for faith?
  6. In what way might one say “though dead, Abel’s still speaks?”
  7. Hebrews 12:18-24:  If “the word” for the Old Covenant is “fear”, what would you suggest as “the word” for the New Covenant?

REFLECTING UPON OUR LIVES

  1. What common activities that you do surrounding the Christmas season tend to help you “draw near” to God?
  2. What Christmas activities tend to distract you from the real meaning of Christmas?
  3. What are the “visible things” that typically stand out about Christmas for you and your family, but after Christmas is over doesn’t really matter?
  4. Thinking about Abel’s sacrifice being “more acceptable,”  what tends to make a Christmas gift more appreciated than others?
  5. Consider building significant Christmas memories by following one of these plans for Christmas activities.  24 days of activities for the whole familyThe Journey to Bethlehem at St. Louis; Creative Connections for KidsChristmas Candles  

CONNECTING WITH THE WAY WE DO CHURCH

  1. How might the church make the  “Christmas” season  more meaningful?
  2. Is there someone(individuals/families) your CARE group would like to go Christmas Caroling to on Dec. 18th?
  3.  Is there a family/neighbor that your CARE group would  like to adopt or encourage this Christmas?

NEXT WEEK – “Brighter!”

Hebrews – “Brighter!” – “Better!” That is what inspired this month’s sermon series.  The world “better.”  Read through the book of Hebrews this week and list the things that are “better” in Christ than they are in the Old Testament Law.  Next week specifically we look at Hebrews 4:3-10 11:15-40.  What do you look forward to most about Heaven?

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