Take a moment to reflect on the life and work of Northside. Do people perceive us as a Bethlehem? Are we the place that God can use to do his work? If not, how can we become so?
Now think about the people of Northside, from our leadership down to the Sunday visitor. Are we like king Herod, in that we are puffed up and refusing to handover ourselves to Jesus Christ? What about you personally? How can we avoid, each of us, becoming like Herod?
How has your understanding of Advent and Christmas changed through this exploration into God’s kenotic character? Or has it?
What does it mean to be restored into this image of God? How is that restoration made possible?
What does it mean to say that Jesus Christ is the Word of God – and why is that so important for revealing who God is?
Why is obedience so important to kenosis?
What are you obedient to?
What does it mean to grow in wisdom and stature?
Do you ever feel like you’ve lost Jesus? Left him behind somewhere?
How do the patterns and practices of your life shape you and the life of your family?
Will you make a resolution to attend church more often this year? Will you participate in worship of Northside when you’re here?
This past week we celebrated the full revelation and kenosis of God in the birth of Jesus Christ – God giving up God-self to become one of us, a human being.
If God gave up being God for us, what are are we called to give up?
Who are we called to give it up for?
What do we learn about the image of God in the Christmas story? What does that mean for us who are called to be restored into that image?
What are the mundane activities of discipleship that you have neglected?
Why is it easier to give up one’s life for the Gospel than it is to live one’s every day life of it?
What do we learn about the importance of tradition in the circumcision of Jesus?
What moments of your life do you treasure and ponder upon? Are they positive or negative in nature?
What kind of thoughts do you think Mary had in these moments of pondering? What did it mean for her to treasure them?
What type of character does it require to follow through with a decision to empty yourself when things become difficult, or even fatal, to the ones we love?
Why did God go to the shepherds first? Why these shepherds?
What would have bee your response if God came to you at your workplace with such news? What if I told you he does every single day? What are some of the ways God delivers this message to you on a daily basis?
Do you think the shepherds had any questions or doubts when they found out that the God of the universe was wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger?
Why do we focus so much on the cross all year long, yet only contemplate the manger this time of year?
What do you think it means to consume the Word of God we have in Jesus Christ?
Who all do we see gathered at manger – and what does that company tell us about who is ready to eat the bread of life?
What traditions are important to you at Christmas? Why?
Who are your examples of kenosis?
Who is watching you as an example of self-emptying?