Date: January 2, 2022
Session: The Light and Glory of God
The Point: Jesus reveals God’s glory and love.
Get Into the Study
Use the following as an alternate introduction to this session.
We have arrived at the longest, darkest months of winter, and as a result, many people will suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to Johns Hopkins Medical, a clear cause of SAD isn’t known. SAD is thought to develop as shorter days and less exposure to sunlight trigger a chemical change in the brain. Many who suffer from it plunge into a deep, months-long depression. One of the most effective treatments for SAD is light exposure, either through sitting near a lightbox each morning or by getting outdoors each day.
This world is constantly pulling us into different types of darkness—whether that be spiritual, cultural, emotional, or physical. It’s important for us to remember that Jesus is the Light of the World, and that He remains that light all year long! As a matter of fact, each year we celebrate Christ’ coming to earth only four days after the darkest day of the year (December 21st)! As we begin this new year, let us remain close to the light of Christ, even as we face the dark days of winter. May standing in the glow of His presence bring us the warmth and joy of Christ all winter long.
Ask, “Is there a specific area of your life or your heart where you especially need the light of Christ to shine more brightly this season?”
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband and two busy little boys.
Get Into the Study (Option from Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide, p. 26)
To illustrate the point, call for students to list the basic ingredients in a recipe for bread (flour, water, oil, sugar, yeast, salt). Then read aloud this basic bread recipe. Ask: Does hearing the recipe read aloud help you really understand what a loaf of bread is? Next display a loaf of fresh bread. Ask: Which helps you better understand bread better—hearing the recipe for bread read aloud or seeing an actual loaf of bread?
Get Into the Study [Option from Adult (p. 57) and KJV Adult (p. 60) Leader Guides]
In advance, play a video clip showing some people talking about their expectations for the new year. Then ask Question #1.
Live It Out
Share the following as you conclude today’s session.
The AT&T Experts compiled a map of the most searched for holiday gift in each state. In 2020, Baby Yoda and weighted blankets dominated the lists, but 2021 was ruled by tech gifts. The number one searched gift in the country was the PlayStation 5, with TVs coming in at number two. You can check out your state’s number one item on this map.
Of course, just because an item topped the most-searched list, doesn’t guarantee it was the most purchased item. We had to wait and see what would be revealed when we unwrapped all those presents under the tree.
The Christmas season is a time of hoping and waiting. You may have been happily surprised on Christmas morning, or maybe you didn’t like what was revealed when you unwrapped that last big box. As Christians, we know that our true hope is in Christ. Jesus exceeded all of Simeon’s expectations, and Simeon rejoiced at this revelation. As we have studied today, not everyone liked what Jesus revealed though.
Direct group members back to The Point of today’s session: Jesus reveals God’s glory and love. Ask: How is this truth both comforting and convicting?
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom and writer.
- Why do people look forward to each new year?
- What movie or book’s “big reveal” caught you by surprise?
- What big event in life did you anticipate or are currently anticipating?
- What’s the connection between Simeon’s devotion to the Lord and being guided by the Spirit?
- What is most meaningful to you about Simeon’s story, and the promise that was made to him?
- What are some ways the Holy Spirit guides us today?
- When have you received joy by seeing God’s activity in the lives of others?
- What does it mean to be God’s servant?
- How can you help bring the light of Christ to others?
- How does our culture display opposition to Jesus Christ?
- How would you summarize Simeon’s final words to Mary and Joseph?
- Why do some people respond positively to Jesus and others do not?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
What Love and Wrath Have in Common
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
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robert tucker says
thanks for this podcast