What Should We Hope For? | Learning Guide
November 27th, 2022
10:15m I Facebook Live & Zoom
Watch last week's message here
What Should We Hope For?
The holiday classic movie, A Christmas Story debuted in 1983 and seems to have been showing somewhere ever since. Seriously, since it began showing as a marathon annually on TNT since 1997 and on TBS since 2004 it is inescapable this time of year. They even made it into a traveling theater production. So when I talk about Ralphie hoping for, obsessively longing for, a Red Ryder BB gun there is no doubt y’all get the reference.
One of the reasons the movie strikes such a chord in us is that we recognize our own hopes and wishes for certain things in Ralphie’s wishing. Sure those things change over time (and how they change and what they change to says much about us), but it seems like we can’t ever quit hoping, wishing. But how do we hope “rightly”? How do we cultivate hopes that lead to flourishing and not bitter disappointment? Is that even possible? Well, on this first Sunday of Advent, and first Sunday of the Liturgical year, we will ask those very questions.
Grace and peace y’all,
Laura Holland and the teaching team
Pray this: "Abba, show me where my hope is and help me to place it wholly and passionately in You. Teach me what it is to hope in You, your word, your character and your Spirit. Amen."
If you don’t have one already, make an Advent wreath together to use the four Sundays of Advent and on Christmas Eve. It doesn’t have to be a traditional circle form with greenery. Here are some more ideas.
Each Sunday, set aside a routine time together to light a candle and read some scripture. Help your kids find Psalm 33:20-22 in the bible. What does hope in the Lord look like?
There’s a classic hymn, My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, that has a repeated line, “On Christ the solid rock I stand.” Listen to this song and then find some small, smooth rocks. Paint them up with the word hope on them, and then go for a hike or bike ride and leave the rocks along the trail for someone to find. A person who finds your rock might really need some hope!
Hope is weird. We often hope for the wrong things. Hope reveals things about us.
Cultivating an honest, spirit infused, life giving hope is an ongoing effort that takes humility, intention, imagination and faith and can really only flourish in community.
How does this fit with Belong, Become, Believe?
At Grace Church we practice “hopeful” hospitality. We hope that others will feel as welcomed and included as God has made us feel. This practice changes us, and roots us deep in our own welcome as we welcome others. This is what we confess we believe to be true in our actions, attitudes and words.
Jennifer Acuff leads us to think about peace.
The Advent Project
Watch for the Light
Resources from Seminary Now
Spotify Advent Playlist
Contact Grace Church NWA here