Advent Week One: “Exchanging Battles for Hope”
Weekly Supply List:
- Journal or sketch pad
- Pen, pencil, and markers
- Aluminum foil & scissors
- 1 small box
- tape or glue
- wrapping paper or stickers
- Post-it notes or small squares of paper
Weekly Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5 (Good News Translation)
1 Here is the message which God gave to Isaiah son of Amoz about Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In days to come the mountain where the Temple stands will be the highest one of all, towering above all the hills. Many nations will come streaming to it, 3 and their people will say, “Let us go up the hill of the Lord, to the Temple of Israel’s God. He will teach us what he wants us to do; we will walk in the paths he has chosen. For the Lord’s teaching comes from Jerusalem; from Zion he speaks to his people.” 4 He will settle disputes among great nations. They will hammer their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will never again go to war, never prepare for battle again.
5 Now, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light which the Lord gives us!
Invitation: Grab your favorite pen or some fresh markers. Read Isaiah 2:1-5 out loud slowly. Next, take a moment to sketch a sword and a spear in your journal.
Reflection: How are swords and spears used? How might they be symbols of conflict or fear? Write words and phrases that come to your mind.
Contemplation: What feeling or emotion word comes to mind as you draw and write? It might be a pleasant feeling or yucky feeling. Don’t judge your feelings, just write it down.
Discussion: If you are with other people now, take a moment to share what you wrote with each other.
Prayer Exchange: Take a long, deep breath. Say aloud, “Come Holy Spirit.” Close your eyes and hold out your hands (for reals, try it now, even if you feel silly). Imagine that you are holding a sword or a spear (pause here). Next imagine that your weapon turns into the feeling that you just wrote (pause again). Hold that feeling up to God like an offering, and say “Here, I gift my feeling to you.” (Say it out loud, go ahead, don’t be shy). Then imagine Jesus, he smiles and takes it out of your hands with eyes that say, “Your feeling is valuable to me; thank you for sharing it with me.” Sit with that thought for a moment: your feeling, pleasant or yucky, is valuable to God.
Contributed by Angela Otero,
Pastor of Discipleship & Spiritual Formation