Week 1 Small Group Study
Advent Theme: HOPE
- When does your Christmas tree typically go up? When does it typically come down?
- How soon do you start listening to Christmas music, before or after Thanksgiving?
- What is your favorite Christmas song or carol? What is your least favorite Christmas song or carol?
“Name That Christmas Carol”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1muOFjTqdSU (25 songs played with answers at the end)
Watch the Video: (15:09) Opening prayer is included in the video.
1. We’ve just come through a turbulent election season here in the US. Pastor Adam says, “While our politics have divided us, Advent should bring us together, uniting us around the newborn King and his life, message, ministry, death, and resurrection.” (p.17) In the weeks and months that follow, how can we as Christians, be a unifying force in our communities?
2. Referencing the story King David’s anointing, Pastor Adam said, “When a new king was crowned, exuberant hopes for his reign would be uttered by the prophets. There was a longing on the part of the prophets and many of the people for a king from David’s royal bloodline who would reign with justice and righteousness.” (p.27) Who are the leaders from your past you think led well during difficult times? In what ways did they lead well? How do the examples from your past help to shape how you face hardships today?
3. In recent years many Americans have begun to lose faith in the role of the President or other elected leaders. How does a President differ from a King? How helpful is it to you viewing Jesus as the King?
Show clip from S. M. Lockridge sermon (3:19) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzqTFNfeDnE
4. What part of Lockridge’s description of Jesus the King most resonates with you?
5. This week we celebrate the theme of Hope in Advent. Pastor Adam writes, “And though we live in that time between triumphs, the triumph of the Resurrection and that of the Second Coming, the first gives us confidence in the second. The resurrection of Jesus leads us to be, in the words of Zechariah, “prisoners of hope.”” (p.39)
6. Read Revelation 19:11-12a, 16; 21:3-5 (p.37) How do these readings in Revelation inspire you to become a “prisoner of hope”?
7. Pastor Adam shared the inspiring story of Nancy Brown who was a significant servant from our congregation. Over many years, Nancy continued to bring hope to those she worked with in Africa. Many of us may never reach Africa, though we can have impact in our own communities. What is one thing you can do to bring hope in your community this week?
Closing Prayer: “Blessed are you, our God, King of the universe. You came to us in Jesus to show us who You are and who You call us to be. To Jesus, we yield our lives. Jesus, be our Christ, our Messiah, our King. To you, O Lord, we offer our time, our talents, our resources, our influence, and our all to You. Help us to live in such a way that we honor You in all that we do. Amen.” (adapted from prayer on p.42)
Suggested Spiritual Practices:
|Worship: Join us in lighting your advent wreath candles each week during worship services, while reading the accompanying devotional.|
|Study: Read about the biblical foundations of Jesus’ anointing. Read 2 Samuel 7:1-16 & Luke 1:26-38|
|Serve: As a group or individually, collect new toys for our partner school to drop off Friday, December 4th from 9-12pm at the Leawood campus. Ideas include: legos, crafts, action figures, ethnic dolls, Hot Wheels, balls, slime, etc. Please no weapon themed toys or nerf guns, etc. Contact Ann Carter for more details. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Give: Jesus had a group that were committed to support the work of the ministry. This campaign continues today through your tithes and offerings by completing your 2021 Ministry Pledge.|
|Share: Invite someone to our online Candlelight Christmas Eve service or purchase an advent wreath kit for a neighbor.|