Immanuel -- God with Us
We encourage you to use (along with your Bibles) copies of the printed worship bulletin and read the song lyrics as you discuss the following questions.
1) Advent is a complicated season – a season of tension between joy and heartache, grief and hope, despair and triumph, the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet.’ We prepare to celebrate the baby Jesus at Christmas, and we anticipate His coming again in glory and welcome Him into our hearts now – three “comings,” if you will. How do we spiritually prepare for Christ’s coming(s)? How do you personally approach Advent? Are you practicing any Advent disciplines this year (individually, as a family, or with friends)?
2) Consider the promises in Isaiah 61:1-3a. How do they apply today? In Luke 4, Jesus reads this passage from Isaiah, then says, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” So why are there still poor in the world, brokenhearted, captives and prisoners? Has this prophecy been fulfilled or not?
3) Read through the lyrics to “A Weary Couple,” followed by the call-and-response “Is He Worthy?” How seriously do you take the responses to the questions posed in the latter piece? How do they impact the circumstances described in “A Weary Couple”? Look up the text from which these lyrics are taken, in Revelation 5. What significance does this text have for how we live as Christians today?
4) When you read or hear the news headlines, are you tempted to despair? Are you hopeful? If you tend toward a positive and upbeat outlook, do you get impatient with those who feel hopeless or broken? How might you compassionately minister to them where they are? If you are inclined to be discouraged, how can you reconcile your struggle or sadness with the hope of Christ?
5) Which song or section of the service ministered to you or challenged you the most? How so?