Suggested Icebreaker: What is your favorite Christmas song/hymn?

*** Summarize this week’s message from the Pastor’s Sermon Notes. ***

Passage: Luke 1:26-38

1.  What did you learn or takeaway from this week’s message?
2.  How do you think Mary found favor with God?  Are the characteristics God looked for back then any different than the characteristics He looks for now?
3.  Why is it so difficult, even for Christians, to believe the account of the virgin birth?  Is accepting the virgin birth as a fact critical to Christian faith?
4.  How do you account for the timing of Christ’s birth (e.g.  Why wasn’t He born much earlier or later)?
5.  It’s rare for God to announce His plans directly to an individual as He did with Mary, so why did He ask her instead of simply making her pregnant in her sleep?
6.  Application:  Christ’s place as the focus of Christmas has been usurped in America by Santa Claus and commercialism…how do we bring it back?  Does it even matter anymore?
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