Embodying Hope

Week #3 of the Adults study series

Hope: Living with Confident Expectation

This week's teacher is Rev. Joshua Clough.
Leader Guide

Big Idea

When we serve those around us, we ourselves find hope as we help others find hope too.

Scripture

Read each passage of Scripture; taking time to answer the following questions for each Scripture read:

  1. What does this passage of scripture say about God?
  2. What does this passage of scripture say about humanity?
  3. What does this passage of scripture say about the relationship between God and humanity?

Scripture One – John 20:19-22 (CEB)

It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Scripture Two – Ephesians 2:10 (CEB)

Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.

Discussion Questions

  • Pastor Joshua invites you to “take note of those around you, the people you see, embodying Christ.” Who do you see embodying hope? How do they inspire you to see a better future?
  • Theologian Jürgen Moltmann wrote, "In human beings, knowledge of the 'living God' awakens a thirst and hunger for life. It makes [us] dissatisfied with what [we] are and impels [us] to look for a future in which more life will enter the lives [we] already have." He continued, "Those who hope in Christ can no longer put up with reality as it is…in the light of the promised future that is to come.” What do you think Moltmann means by “reality as it is?”
  • In John 20:19-22, Jesus says to his disciples, “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.”
  • What did Christ do, being sent by the Father? What are we to do, being sent by Christ? What are some of the things that keep you from doing as Christ did?
  • Pastor Joshua says that to fully embody Christ we need to both “act” and “wait.” Which one comes more naturally to you? Why do you suppose the other is harder?
  • Pastor Joshua asks, “In what ways do you feel the Holy Spirit leading you, nudging you, prompting you to live differently/changed in your faith life? What is Christ asking you to do right now, today, to embody hope?”

Challenge

  1. Set aside time this week to “wait.” Nurture your faith by reading scripture or doing a devotion and praying. It might help you to re-read John 20:19-22 and Ephesians 2:10 each day this week.
  2. Find a way to “act.” Activate your faith by going and doing, by serving others. Here is a link to several ways you can serve this week: cor.org/localimpact.
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