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: Reread Isaiah 2:1-5 out loud slowly. In your journal write down the last dispute you had with someone you know. Or write down the last dispute you avoided, that perhaps you shouldn’t have avoided.
Reflection: How did that turn out? Whether it was conflict or avoidance, were you hurt? Did you hurt someone else?
Contemplation: Was the dispute resolved or does it still bother you?
Discussion: As appropriate, if you are with other people now, take a moment to share honestly about your conflict.
Prayer Exchange: Take a long, deep breath. Say aloud, “Come Holy Spirit.” Close your eyes and bring back to mind that conflict or situation. Imagine Jesus standing there with you both. (You are not in trouble. He has come to settle the dispute.)
Ask Jesus, is there something I could have said or done differently? (pause and wait, his Spirit may bring something to your mind) Now, ask him, is there something I said or did that wasn’t the best choice? (pause and wait again, his Spirit may bring something to your mind). If there is something for which you feel remorse, ask Jesus to forgive you right now. Imagine he looks back at you and says, “I love you, I really do. I forgive you, I always will. Go now and do the same for others.” Stay with His words for a moment; say anything else to him that you need to say. Linger there; allow him to respond.
Contributed by Angela Otero,
Pastor of Discipleship & Spiritual Formation