Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson.
1. Have you ever been driving at night when your headlights went out or walking in the dark when your flashlight quit working? How did you feel and how did you respond?
2. Were you afraid of the dark when you were a child? If so, what was it like hiding under the covers in your bed, terrified of shadows, and needing someone to turn on the light?
Read Isaiah 8:19—9:1
1. What do Ouija boards, palm readers, tarot cards, seánces, and spiritists have in common? They are all rooted in necromancy (consulting the dead), witchcraft, and dark arts—activities that are as dangerous as driving in total darkness. What did Isaiah warn about in this passage thousands of years ago (vv. 21, 22) and how should it inform our behavior as Christians today?
2. Where did the prophet tell God’s people they could find light and truth about their lives and the future?
Read Isaiah 9:1-5
3. Search 9:1, 2 for prophetic clues about the Messiah (where he would live and the actual sign of his coming) and discuss what you think they mean.
4. Read Matthew 2:1-11. How does this passage literally “shed light” on Isaiah’s Old Testament prophecy?
5. When the wise men found the child and his mother, Mary, how did they respond? Discuss how the wise men worshiped.
Read Isaiah 9:6, 7
6. The prophet described the coming Messiah using four names. What are those names and what significance do they hold for Christians today?
7. Read Luke 2:8-14. Angels announced the birth of Christ to a group of lowly shepherds who were at first terrified. The stars in the heavens announced the birth of Christ to a group of wise men and they were overjoyed. Both groups came to worship. One group told everyone they knew about the Messiah and the other group brought gifts. Both responses are appropriate. When it comes to worshiping Christ, do you consider yourself a shepherd or a magi? Why?
8. Jesus came to shine a great light in a dark world. How can we do the same? What will you do to shine the light of Christ throughout this Christmas season to others who might be struggling?
Conclude your group time with prayer, using the following as a guide.
Jesus, you are the Light of the World! You are truly Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace to us. Thank you for bringing God’s light in our lives.