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Advent Discussion Guide

Advent 2020 | First United Methodist Church of Rockwall

Sent: Delivering The Gift of Hope At Christmas 

Session 2— Sent: To Liberate

Scripture: Luke 4:16-21

“When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Discussion:

  1. What are your observations and take-aways from Ruby’s story about the homeless men, and Sandy’s story about the prisoners?
  2. Have you experienced a time when you were initially nervous or fearful about a person(s)? What happened?
  3. When have you been “caught up in the circumstances that shape the stories of the people whom Jesus puts in our lives to love?”
  4. Think back to a time when you saw the light of God in someone when you least expected it. What did you learn from that experience?
  5. Read the Old Testament references: Isaiah 61:1-3. For whom is this Isaiah message intended? What differences do you notice and why do you think Jesus quit reading where he did? With Jesus quoting from the Hebrew Scriptures, what do you think this means for his future ministry? 
  6. Biblical scholars consider these verses the thesis for the Gospel of Luke. Is there anything that immediately stands out to you from the text?  Think about images, words, or ideas.  
  7. Of these six “goals,” which means the most to you?  Where have you heard this before?  
  8. What do you intentionally do in your faith journey to reset yourself at Advent to see things, people, and experiences, as Jesus sees them? 
  9. As a Christian, what does it look like to see beyond someone’s disability, race, gender, or socioeconomic situation?
  10. How do you join in Jesus’ mission to free, give peace, and heal? What does that look like in day to day life?

Closing Prayer: 

Loving God, whose Spirit is upon me, you have anointed me to bring good news to the poor. You’ve sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. May I courageously go where you send me in order to see your light within others. Amen.