Advent Week Two: “Exchanging Harm for Peace”
Weekly Supply List:
- Journal or sketch pad
- Pen, pencil, or markers
- Your imagination
- 5-10 minutes a day
- Advent wreath, optional
Weekly Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-10 (Good News Translation)
1 The royal line of David is like a tree that has been cut down; but just as new branches sprout from a stump, so a new king will arise from among David’s descendants. 2 The spirit of the Lord will give him wisdom and the knowledge and skill to rule his people. He will know the Lord’s will and honor him, 3 and find pleasure in obeying him. He will not judge by appearance or hearsay; 4 he will judge the poor fairly and defend the rights of the helpless. At his command the people will be punished, and evil persons will die. 5 He will rule his people with justice and integrity. 6 Wolves and sheep will live together in peace, and leopards will lie down with young goats. Calves and lion cubs will feed together, and little children will take care of them. 7 Cows and bears will eat together, and their calves and cubs will lie down in peace. Lions will eat straw as cattle do. 8 Even a baby will not be harmed if it plays near a poisonous snake. 9 On Zion, God’s sacred hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil. The land will be as full of knowledge of the Lord as the seas are full of water. 10 A day is coming when the new king from the royal line of David will be a symbol to the nations. They will gather in his royal city and give him honor.
Invitation: Get some supplies–a journal or piece of paper and something to write with. Find a comfy seat and have one person read Isaiah 11:1-10, written above, out loud and slowly.
Reflection: Was there a time recently that you felt helpless? Write a short word, phrase, or sentence that describes your situation.
If you’re doing this with others, and you feel comfortable, you might share it with them.
Contemplation: Isaiah says that the new King–King Jesus!–will “defend the rights of the helpless.” How does it make you feel knowing that he will defend you whenever you feel helpless?
Discussion: God often helps us by sending other people to help us–whether we realize it or not. Was there someone who helped you in the situation you just wrote about? Can you think of another time where some helped you that perhaps was sent by God?
Prayer Exchange: Sit back, take a few deep breaths, and hold one hand up like you’re reaching for someone above you to grab your hand. Stay like this while you say, or someone else says, this prayer:
King Jesus, you have all the power; I often feel weak and helpless. When I am helpless, remind me to ask you for help, and to then be humble enough to receive your help, however and through whomever you may send it. Thank you for being the kind of King who uses his power to help the helpless. Amen.
Contributed by Rodger Otero, Associate Pastor