Blog/CYM Blog He is Near: A Free Video and Small Group Guide for Advent by Life Teen Editor’s Note: For use as a small group reflection, read the first couple paragraphs aloud, then watch the video and discuss the questions, ending your time by either reading the prayer together, or having one person read the prayer to the group. Who would the Holy Family be in our world today? Would you notice them? Would they stand out? Or would you be tempted to judge them? Look away? To see them as a statistic? As one more family who isn’t meeting society’s standards of “good enough”? What if instead we looked around us — in our cities, in our homes, and in our churches — and we saw the presence of God? The Kingdom of Heaven is here among us because God chose to become a man, to sanctify our world forever! Watch this video, and then spend some time discussing it with your friends, family, church, or small group! This Advent is an ideal time to search our hearts for the places we need healing. We can all improve in how much love and mercy we have in our thoughts, words, and actions. May we all see everyday that God is close at hand in the souls around us. Questions for Small Group Discussion: Read the story of the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:1-20. When you think about Joseph and Mary, what words would you use to describe their situation the night of the birth of Christ? What are some of the reasons the people around them may have judged them, or made them feel unwelcome? What kinds of people do you feel tempted to judge or think poorly of? Why is it difficult to see Christ in even those people? What prevents you from being welcoming to every person, no matter what their circumstance is? What prejudices do you have in your heart that need healing? Prayer: God, we thank you that you became a man to bring us freedom and healing. We ask specifically for healing in our hearts. Help us to be rid of all prejudices and judgements and condemnations that arise in our hearts and prevent us from living lives of radical mercy and love. Our desire is to see your presence in every person we encounter. We know you are here among us, especially in the poor, weak, and lowly of society. Give us hearts ready to see you, to serve you, and to welcome you in our world, here and now.