The What and Who of Meandering About

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Advent - Week 1 - Hope

Throughout the season of Advent, each Saturday you will find a post here containing one of the Advent lectionary texts as well as a short devotional on the text.  Use them by yourself, with a group, or with your family. If you have an Advent Wreath, you might want to use it as you experience these readings.

It is our hope that Advent would be a time for your to slow down and embrace the season.



Week 1 
This week we light the first purple (or the blue) candle in the Advent wreath.
“We light this candle in hope, the bright hope of Jesus, the Christ.”

SLOW DOWN, EMBRACE HOPE.

Questions:
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the word hope?
In a world that is often so cluttered with stories that seem to be void of hope, where do you find it?

Scripture: 
Isaiah 64:1-9
"O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people."

Discussion:
What does the above passage have to do with hope?
Isaiah writes, ”Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people."
How might these words speak of hope?
Where do you wish God would infuse hope in our world? In your life?
How can you become a source of hope for others even in the midst of despair?

Activity:
Find some Post Its or 3x5 notecards. Write one of your hopes for yourself, for your family, or for our world on each card. Link the cards together from top to bottom and hang them someplace where you can see them throughout Advent. 
Share your list with someone else. 
Consider ways that you might work toward these purposes.
Take action on one of the items in your list. 

SLOW DOWN, EMBRACE HOPE. 

Christmas Benevolence:
Go to the church's website to find ways to volunteer for this year's Christmas Benevolence - www.secondchurch.org/cb.

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