whose holiness shines in undimmed brilliance
and before whom no one can stand,
form us individually and corporately
as vessels of honor for Your Name
in the midst of a corrupt generation,
so that the beauty of Your holiness
would reflect to the world as we shine like stars in this world.
Through Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world
and the radiance of Your glory,
[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]
This coming weekend at Eastbrook Church we launch the second part of our six-part journey with the Gospel of Luke entitled “Appearing.” (You can access the first part,”Beginnings,” here.)
The first chapters of Jesus’ adult life lead us into the first glimmers of God’s good plans working out through Him. In this season of Advent we prepare our hearts for His coming and, so, we prepare for the public ministry of Jesus the Messiah through this series. This four-week series is the second part of our journey through the Gospel of Luke.
November 26/27 – “Prepare” – Luke 3:1-38
December 3/4 – “Wilderness” – Luke 4:1-13
December 10/11 – “Jubilee” – Luke 4:14-30
December 17/18 – “Word and Deed” – Luke 4:31-44
December 24 – Christmas Eve services (2:30, 4:00, 5:30 PM)
December 25 – Christmas Day service (10 AM)
You can follow along with the series via our web-site, our Vimeo page, our Facebook page, or by downloading the Eastbrook Church app.
Over the past couple of years, I have participated in the Gospel Life blog hosted by the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College. Every year the BGCE pulls together a resource on sharing our faith to help individuals and churches prepare for Christmas during the season of Advent. I was privileged to write for that devotional this year, and I’d encourage you to check it out here.
Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Growing,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the final part of our series, “Beginnings.” The text for this week is Luke 2:22-52.
- Answer one of the following questions:
- What is one of your favorite memories from growing up? Why?
- When have you experienced the greatest growth in your life with God? What happened?
- This week we conclude our “Beginnings” series from the Gospel of Luke by looking at Luke 2:22-52. Luke moves from Jesus’ birth to his early life with one episode from his first months and one from his boyhood. Take a moment to pray that God would speak to you before reading the first episode from Luke 2:22-40.
- Joseph and Mary are fulfilling the requirements of the Jewish law for purification after birth (Leviticus 12:2-4) and dedication of firstborn children (Numbers 18:15-16) at the Temple in Jerusalem. What do you notice about Simeon, a man they encounter there (vss 25-26)?
- What is most striking to you about Simeon’s words of praise to God (vss 29-32) and his words to Joseph and Mary (vss 33-35)? What does this tell us about Jesus?
- What would you say Anna the prophetess confirms about Jesus’ identity in her response to Jesus’ visit (vss 36-38)?
- Now read Luke 2:41-52. Background: Joseph and Mary appear as very devout in their annual visit to Jerusalem for Passover. They likely travel the 80 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem in a group with family and friends.
- When Joseph and Mary discover Jesus is not with their group, they rush back to Jerusalem to find Him in the Temple talking with teachers. His response in verse 49 is Jesus’ first words in the Gospel. What do we learn about Him from these words?
- Jesus’ growth physically is mirrored by His growth relationally and spiritually (see 2:40, 52). What might we learn about our own development as disciples from Jesus’ life here?
- What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.
Daily Reading Plan
To encourage us together in our growth with God, we are arranging a weekday reading plan through this entire series with the Gospel of Luke. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.
Follow along with the reading plan below, through the Eastbrook app, or on social media.
- Nov 21 Luke 2:22-40
- Nov 22 Isaiah 42:1-7; Isaiah 49:5-6
- Nov 23 Matthew 2:19-23
- Nov 24 Luke 2:41-52
- Nov 25 Luke 2:40; Luke 2:52
We concluded our “Beginnings” series this weekend at Eastbrook Church with a message entitled “Growing” from Luke 2:22-52. Jesus sanctifies the entire human development continuum in His flesh and also reveals His mission for the first time. The light of salvation is growing, yet it is also surrounded by the growing clouds of division. Simeon and Anna affirm that Messianic expectations are fulfilled in Jesus, drawing attention to Mary’s future suffering and the suffering that corresponds to true discipleship.
You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.
Also, join in with the weekday reading plan for this series here.
“But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.’” (Luke 1:13)
Jesus Growing (Luke 2:16, 40, 43, 52)
Growing Light (Luke 2:25-32, 36-40)
Growing Clouds (Luke 2:33-35)
Growing Revelation (Luke 2:41-49)
Growing Confusion (Luke 2:33, 50)