This past Sunday we lit the Bethlehem Candle to remind ourselves of the preparations Mary and Joseph made for Jesus’ birth. As we close this week, let’s review the four main New Testament passages that tell us how Joseph and Mary prepared for Jesus’ birth. Try to imagine what they thought and felt as they were getting ready for Jesus’ arrival. If you don’t have a Bible handy, click on the link for each passage so you can read the text. If you’re pressed for time, choose one or two sections to work through now, and save the rest for later.
Gabriel Appears to Mary (Luke 1:26-38)
- What strikes you about what Gabriel said to Mary? Why?
- What do you think would be Mary’s greatest challenge in preparing for Jesus’ birth? Why?
An Angel Appears to Joseph (Matthew 1:18-25)
- How would you compare and contrast Gabriel’s appearance to Mary with the angel’s appearance to Joseph?
- What do you think would be Joseph’s greatest challenge in preparing for Jesus’ birth? Why?
Mary Visits Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56)
- If you’re not already familiar with Elizabeth, you’ll find her story in Luke 1:5-25.
- Why do you think Mary might have wanted to visit her relative Elizabeth and stay with her for three months?
- What do you think of Mary’s words in verses 46-55?
Jesus Is Born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7)
- Put yourself in the shoes of Mary and Joseph. What might they have been thinking and feeling just before and after Jesus was born?
- Why do you think God allowed His Son to be born while Joseph and Mary were away from home and when His first cradle would be a manger (feeding trough)?
None of us would have ever imagined that You would enter our world the way You did. Actually, we’re amazed that You were willing to enter it at all. But, we’re incredibly grateful that You did. Thank You for humbling Yourself to do this for us. Thank You for showing us Your love. Please increase our love for You and our desire to tell others of Your great love for them.