The Worship of Advent – The Song of Simeon – Waiting that is Satisfied

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1. There is discussion today of putting a group of people on Mars – a group that will never return to Earth. Why might someone choose to go on this journey? Why might someone want to depart this world (ie. die)?

2. Read Luke 2:22-35.

3. What do verses 22-24 teach you about Mary and Joseph?

4. Why can Simeon depart in peace?

5. Has God ever given you a promise that you have waited for and seen fulfilled? Describe this.

6. In your experience, what does waiting on God look like (ie. What does someone do while they wait on God? What does someone feel as they wait on God? Etc.)?

7. Pastor Bill said that when we wait for God, we become much less demanding of people. Do you agree? Why or why not? What are the benefits of being less demanding on people?

8. Read Psalm 37 out loud. What stands out to you from this passage? What do you need to apply from this Psalm?

9. End your time together by having each person share:

i. What you must do in response to Sunday’s sermon.

ii.  Encouraging words for another member of your group – how they have blessed you or others over the past couple of weeks.

iii.  One area of struggle in their Christian walk.

iv. One person that they would like to see come to faith/return to God.

Pray for one another in light of these three items and any other concerns your group members might have.

The Worship of Advent – The Benedictus – Zechariah’s Song

TAC – The Benedictus – Zechariah’s Song by Tacblogs on Mixcloud

 

1. Describe a favourite Christmas ornament or decoration that was put on display when you were a child (or is put on display today). Why is it a favourite?

2 .  Remind yourselves of what happens leading up to Luke 1:67-80. What factors may have prevented Zechariah from believing the angel? What factors should have helped him believe? Has God ever called you to believe the incredible? Share. What made belief easy/challenging?

3. Read Luke 1:67-80.

4. What strikes you from this passage? Why? What relevance does this idea have for your life today?

5. What hope do you find for the believer in verse 67? How have you personally experienced restoration by God?

6. What strikes you about the words “visited”, “redeemed” and “raised up”? Is there any significance about the past tense?

7. One of the ideas that Jeff stressed was that those who wait upon the Lord are never ultimately disappointed. What did he mean by this?

8. How can we keep our hope in God alive and well?

9.  Read Luke 3:1-22. How did John prepare the way for Jesus? What does repentance mean? What are the results of repentance?

10. Do you think that we have a part to play in preparing people to be ready for the return of Jesus? Why or why not? If so, what is our part to play?

11.  End your time together by having each person share:

i. What you must do in response to Sunday’s sermon.

ii. Encouraging words for another member of your group – how they have blessed you or others over the past couple of weeks.

iii. One area of struggle in their Christian walk.

iv.   One person that they would like to see come to faith/return to God. Pray for one another in light of these three items and any other concerns your group members might have.

The Worship of Advent – Mary’s Song

TAC – The Worship of Advent – Mary’s Song by Tacblogs on Mixcloud

 

1. Share a time when you felt great joy at Christmas. What brought about the joy? Why did this thing bring you joy? How did you respond to this joy?

2. Read Luke 1:46-56. What happens prior to this passage?

3.  Is Mary’s worship heartfelt or on the surface? How do you know? What does heartfelt worship look like? What role do we play in “producing” heartfelt worship?

4. How would you define worship? Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord”. What insight(s) do you gain from what worship is from this statement?

5. How does Mary describe God in her worship? Does anything that she says speak particularly to you today? What? Why? How does it speak into your life today?

6. Pastor Bill spoke about God being the God of great reversals. What does this mean? Does God bring about great reversals today?

7. Take some time to craft a short hymn/poem expressing your worship/thankfulness to God. Share your hymn or one or two aspects of your hymn with your group. Why are you magnifying God? For what are you thanking God? What has God done that needs to be returned to Him in praise?

8.       End your time together by having each person share:

i. What you must do in response to Sunday’s sermon.

ii.  Encouraging words for another member of your group – how they have blessed you or others over the past couple of weeks.

iii.One area of struggle in their Christian walk.

iv. One person that they would like to see come to faith/return to God. Pray for one another in light of these three items and any other concerns your group members might have.

The Prayers of Advent – Prayer of Surrender

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Sermon by Andrew H.

Sermon Slides

Slide 1:
Surrendering to God’s fresh word – the present tense of belief Toni Zenz – The Listener
(http://liberate.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/big_16978751_0_580-428.jpg)
Slide 2:
Slide 3:

Surrendering to God’s word of favour (proper humility/lowliness)
Albrecht Altdorfer – Holy Night
(http://uploads4.wikiart.org/images/albrecht-altdorfer/holy-night-nativity-1511.jpg)

Tonight Show clip with Dwayne Johnson.
(http://www.ctv.ca/TheTonightShowStarringJimmyFallon.aspx?vid=512681)

Small Group Questions

1. Share an example from your life when you gave up. What happened? Why did you give up? Was it wise to give up at this point?

2. Read Luke 1:26-56. What is one thing that stands out to you from this passage?

3. What does “surrender” mean?

4. Pastor Andrew said that belief must be in the present tense. What does this mean? Why do we sometimes have trouble believing God? What can be done to strengthen faith in God? How can we facilitate listening to God?

5. Where in Scripture can we find passages that show that God cares for our bodies? [eg. Matthew 8:14-17 and James 5:13-18]

6. How is/might a Christian today be called to surrender to God’s word of favour? What enables a person who is poor in spirit or humble to receive such a word from God?

The Prayers of Advent – Waiting that has been Satisfied

TAC – The Prayers of Advent – Waiting that has been Satisfied by Tacblogs on Mixcloud

1. For children, waiting for Christmas can be very difficult. Share a story from your own life or your children’s lives that demonstrates the difficulty of waiting.

2. How can you slow down over the Advent season to meditate and reflect on the gift of Christ? Share some practical suggestions that have worked for you.

3. Read Luke 2:25-35. Share one thing that stands out to you from this passage.

4. Pastor Bill said that waiting on God arises from a disconnect. What did he mean by this? Why is waiting on God worthwhile? Can you think of any examples of how God met you in your waiting?

5. God creates faith. Do we have any part to play in building faith? If so, what?

6. Read Psalm 25:1-3. What does this passage teach you about waiting on God?

7. Practically speaking, what does waiting on God look like? What does one do while waiting on God?

8. What do you need to do as a response to this message and cell group?

The Prayers of Advent – I Want to Know You

TAC – Prayers of Advent – I Want to Know You by Tacblogs on Mixcloud

1. Share about an Advent tradition that holds a special place in your heart.

2. What do you think some of the special prayers requests that people have during Advent are?

3. Read Acts 17:16-34.

4. What idols do we find in Toronto? What should our response to these idols be? How does Paul respond to the idols in Athens?

5. What does the alter dedicated to the unknown God represent? Have you ever had a discussion with someone who believed that God exists but who was unsure of what God was like? Share a bit of this conversation. How can such conversations be transformed into witnessing opportunities?

6. What type of gods are created by the imagination of people? Share aspects of the character/deeds/appearance of these gods. What is the benefit of believing in these gods? What is the danger of believing in them?

7. In what ways has your own imagination shaped your understanding of the doctrine of God – in ways contrary to Scripture?

8. What is repentance? What must you repent of? What must this city repent of?