Small Group Bible Study

Quiet Christmas
 - Week 

Week Three: Joy

Discussion Guide
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Psalm 23; Matthew 1:18-25; Psalm 16

Participate in Lighting of the Advent Candle

The third candle is pink, which symbolizes joy, traditionally connected to the pink of a rose. This candle is called the Shepherd’s Candle and reminds us of the great joy of Jesus’ coming arrival announced to the lowly, outcast, “unclean” shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem. The very first to hear the good news of God’s gentle arrival were these shepherds. Can you imagine their joy? Can you see the love of God in this good news? Let us drink deeply of His joy. Light the third Advent Candle (along with the previous two candles).

Discussion + Meditation

  • How does the image of Jesus as “the Good Shepherd” encourage you? 
  • How do you see faith and joy in the person of Joseph? 
  • How is it possible to experience joy in the midst of pain, darkness and need?


“Oh Lord, how we long to adore and worship you in grace and truth. And yet we acknowledge the difficulty of sustaining joy in our lives. We ask you, Lord, to help us to make space for your true joy — deep, abiding joy. Holy Spirit, be gentle but complete in showing us ways we hinder joy’s full expression in us. We invite your joyful presence.”

Personal Journaling Prompt

Examine the presence of joy in your life. Journal about what makes joy apparent or hinders it. Write out a prayer celebrating the ways Jesus has brought joy into your life. Ask Him how you can make space for more joy.