From the Sermon: O Little Town Of Bethlehem
Preacher: Pastor Jon Needham
Scripture: Micah 5:2-5
ADVENT CAROL: O Little Town Of Bethlehem
MAIN POINTS: 1) The Promise , 2) The Place, and 3) The Point
As we wrap up our final week of Advent this year, we are reminded that it isn’t the big and powerful that God chooses for his purposes, but the weak and lowly. Jesus was born in a feeding trough in a tiny, insignificant city, to a young unmarried couple. God has made himself available to all - no matter what lowly estate you find yourself in. Jesus offers peace, joy, and love forever if we will come to him in repentance. This is what we celebrate! Merry Christmas!
Family Discussion Questions:
- What’s something that surprised or confused you about this Bible passage? (Look back at your Sermon Notes for help remembering!)
- Place yourself in the time of the Old Testament prophets. What would the promise of a ruler from ancient days coming to Israel mean to you?
- Knowing how insignificant Bethlehem was, how does God choosing that place for Jesus’ birth encourage you?
- What is the only thing keeping you from the love, joy, peace, hope and forgiveness that Jesus offers?
- Spend some time thanking God for his perfect plan and for Jesus!
· Read the sermon summary together as a family. Build this into your normal routine, perhaps reading together around the table during a meal.
· There are five questions, each with a different theme. You can choose one night a week to go over all five, do a couple questions a few times a week, or discuss one question per day.
· Each question is meant to be a conversation starter. Model for your children how to answer these questions by sharing your own personal insights.
· Even if your conversations don’t go as planned, don’t be discouraged. ALL time spent talking about and reading God’s word is valuable!
· The more consistent you are in having these discussions, the more fruitful they will be. As this becomes part of your weekly rhythm, your kids will anticipate the questions and listen more attentively at church.
- Micah 2:1-2; 3:1-4
- John 1:1-3
- Exodus 4:10
- Deuteronomy 7:7-8a
- Philippians 2:6-7
- Luke 1:51-53
Use these additional scriptures as daily reading. These are also a great way to help your children learn to locate passages in the Bible.
Attribute of God:
NEAR: We do not have a God who is distant and uncaring of our daily lives; rather we have a God who is Immanuel, with us. God is always available to us because of Jesus.
We focus on a new attribute of God each week to discuss as a family. Use this time to discuss who God is, answer questions the kids might have, and talk about what that week’s attribute means to each person in your family.
COMMUNITY: Pray for those in our community who are alone this holiday season. May God be near to them and show them his wonderful grace.
Each week of the month has its own prayer theme: Church, Family, Community and Repentance. Use these themes to show your children how to pray. It can be helpful to add this to an already existing routine like at bedtime or when you’re in the car together.
O Come, O Come Immanuel
O come, O come, Immanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory over the grave
O come, Desire of Nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.
Each month we highlight a different song for you to sing together. Singing is an integral part of worship! Singing as a family helps teach the kids how to worship at church, and as they learn more songs, they will be able to participate more on Sunday mornings. You can practice your songs in the car, at the dinner table, when you wake up, or at bedtime! You can also check out our playlist on Spotify and sing along with your favorite worship songs.
“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.”
This is the same memory verse that the whole church is learning and it rotates monthly. Practice reciting it as a family each day at least once. Dinner time is a great opportunity to practice together.
New City Catechism:
Question 11: What does God require in the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments?
Answer: Sixth, that we do not hurt or hate our neighbor. Seventh, that we live purely and faithfully. Eight, that we do not take without permission that which belongs to someone else.