December 16, 2018, Lectionary

Desplazar hacia abajo. Scroll down for Spanish.

Thinking: How readily we Christians bring ourselves into the blissful promises to Israel and Zion (God singing over us with joy, for instance) and how easily we push away from the warnings and judgments of God on Israel. Zephaniah 3:14-20

The song says the Lord is my strength, my song, and my salvation. I'm meditating on how God is each of these in my life, and in the life of my church. Isaiah 12:2-6

I pray you will not let your responsibilities this season overwhelm or eclipse your joy in Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

What should they do while expecting the kingdom of God? John said, share food and clothing, stop extortion, violence, false accusation, and discontent. Luke 3:7-18

Thoughts about Listening

Challenge: Figure out how you express joy and then do this in the presence of, and for the very existence of, a teenager in your life. Zephaniah 3:14-20

It is possible to give the gift of listening to someone I don't like or agree with. It is also possible to do that with joy inside based on the giving of listening rather than on coming to agreement. Isaiah 12:2-6

Don't worry. Don't stress. The important thing is shared joy this season, in your family, your workplace, your church, your community. Philippians 4:4-7

Seldom do I get to tell others what they should do in their lives. Most of the time it's best for me to stick with who I am, how I want to be in my world, and what decisions I own. Luke 3:7-18

Bible Reading Group Study Guide

1.    Describe to someone you trust what is the difference for you, if any, between joy and happiness. Give examples.

2.    Read or listen to Zephaniah 3:14-20. Tell in your group the parts of this praise of God’s work for Israel that mean the most to you and why. Notice the use of the word, “joy.”

3.    Read or listen to Isaiah 12:2-6. Draw or dance something from this reading. Discuss together the place of joy in these praises for the release of Israel from the troubles they had earned.

4.    Read or listen to Philippians 4:4-7. Where do you find joy at Christmas time? Can you expand the joy to make it fill all your days between now and Christmas?

5.    Read or listen to Luke 3:7-18. List the things John said to stop doing in order to get ready for the Messiah. Discuss how these things might hinder joy. Then list the things John said to do and show how they might increase joy. What will you do today to increase joy on earth?


1.    Describa a alguien en quien confía cuál es la diferencia para usted, si existe, entre la alegría y la felicidad. Dar ejemplos.

2.    Leer  o escuchar Sofonías 3: 14-20. Diga a su grupo las partes de esta alabanza de Israel para la obra de Dios, que es lo más importante para usted y por qué. Note el uso de la palabra "alegría".

3.    Leer o escuchar  Isaías 12: 2-6. Dibujar o bailar algo de esta lectura. Discutan juntos el lugar que tiene la alegría en estas alabanzas por la liberación de Israel de los problemas que habían ganado.

4.    Leer o escuchar Filipenses 4: 4-7. ¿Dónde encuentra la alegría en Navidad? ¿Puedes expandir la alegría para que llene todos sus días desde ahora hasta la Navidad?

5.    Leer o escuchar Lucas 3: 7-18. Enumere las cosas que dijo Juan  que dejaran de hacer para prepararse para el Mesías. Discuta cómo estas cosas podrían entorpecer la alegría. Luego haga una lista de las cosas que Juan dijo que hiciera y muestre cómo éstas cosas podrían aumentar la alegría. ¿Qué hará hoy para aumentar la alegría en la tierra?