Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Advent Sermon Series: A Thrill of Hope
Week 3: Hope’s Softer Side
Here’s a link to a pdf file for printing – 12-16-17
- Our Advent candles so far have stood for Expectation and then for Love. This weekend’s Advent candle represents Joy. How would you define “Joy”? How do we get it?
- Our series title is “A Thrill of Hope.” Think of a time in your life when you really needed hope. How could Jesus’ birth speak to someone in that sort of situation?
Don’t miss coming to our Blue Christmas service this Thursday, December 21 at 7pm at our East Campus on 2341 South Military Trail. And bring a friend who could use some hope!
- Read Luke 2:10: “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
Seek to memorize this verse over the coming weeks before Christmas. If you’re in a small group, try to say this by memory together as a group.
- In an earlier sermon in this series, Pastor Dale said: “Real hope comes TO us, not from within us.”
What does Pastor Dale mean when he says this?
- “Part of what makes real hope “thrilling” is to share it with someone else.” If you’ve experienced the truth of this statement, share about that experience with your group.
- Pastor Dale said that most of us don’t actually know what real hope is. If someone asked you what real hope is, what would you say?
- Why didn’t Pastor Dale like the movie – and especially the title – “Hope Floats”?
- Read Luke 2:8-20: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
- Read Luke 2:19 again: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. What do those two words “treasured” and “pondered” indicate about Mary and what she was doing during this time?
Christian hope is nothing more than pulling the promises God has made to me about my future into my present and over my past.
- Read 2 Corinthians 1:20: For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
What are some practical ways that you can pull God’s promises into your present? How is this different from “positive thinking”?
- What part of Brandon’s story can you identify with?
- Name a part of your past that you would like to pull God’s promises over.