*LEADERS STUDY GUIDE 11.29.2020
Advent Week 1: Hope
For the following four weeks we will be reflecting on Advent. The advent season includes the four Sundays before Christmas when the church looks back to Christ’s first arrival in Bethlehem and looks forward to His second and final arrival. Each week we will reflect on a different word (Hope – Peace – Love – Joy). The word this week is Hope.
Question: How would you describe hope? How does our culture describe hope and what is that hope placed in? Is it different from biblical hope? If so, in what ways?
Note: Today is an opportunity for us to step back for a moment and reflect on the Hope we have because of Christ Jesus. It’s an opportunity for us to see the big picture of God’s great salvation. God has given us reason to hope but our hope is not dependent on a feeling; our hope is in the person of Jesus. Today we want to think about the reality of HOPE, not just the warm fuzzies of Hope. Remember, Biblical Hope is a confident trust that God will keep his promises.
Objective: Our objective for today is to consider three dimensions of HOPE by looking at Simeon in Luke 2.
Discussion 1: Have someone read the passage from Luke out loud. As the passage is read, look for the following dimensions of HOPE: The Act of Hope; the Reason of Hope; the Objective of Hope. Have the group share their thoughts.
PASSAGE: Luke 2:25-35
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Below are some questions to help spur on discussion:
- THE ACT OF HOPING
- What does the act of hoping look like in Simeon’s life?
- Do you think it was difficult for Simeon to wait? Why?
- How will we wait?
- Will we complain? I understand we are longing for something better and that something better will come, but will complaining speed it’s coming?
- THE REASON FOR SIMEON’S HOPE
- What was Simeon’s reason for Hope?
- What had God promised to Simeon?
- How might the long period of silence between the end of the Old Testament and the coming of Christ have caused Simeon to doubt God’s promise?
- Why would Simeon think that God would keep his promise?
- Simeon had reason to Hope because he remembered that God was faithful and God keeps His promises. How can we follow Simeon’s example of faith?
Note: One way is by remembering God’s promises—”I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. I will send the Holy Spirit – He will be a comforter and guide. I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
- Take time to share all the reasons you have Hope in Christ Jesus.
- Object of Simeon’s Hope was Jesus
- Is Jesus the object of your Hope?
- How can you act on this Hope today? What will it look like for you personally?
- How will you continually turn to Jesus as your Hope, especially in this season with all there is to navigate?
- Will you share the Hope of Jesus with others?
Take time to pray and ask God to help you live with Biblical Hope. Pray for ways to speak Hope to yourself and into the lives of others.