A Different Kind of Christmas – Hope: A Free Advent Lesson

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Sometimes even though we know what God wants and what God promises to do, we are frustrated when it doesn’t happen right away. We explore that huge theme of Advent in today’s lesson.

Opening

  1. What traditions does your family have each year as they prepare for Christmas?
  2. What do you hope for from Christmas?
  3. What are some of your best Christmas memories?
  4. Advent is a time for preparing for the coming of the Christ-Child. How can we prepare our hearts for Christmas?
  5. What stands in your way of having the perfect Christmas?

Diving Deeper

  1. When in your life have you felt like you did something for God?
  2. When in your life have you felt like God has done something for you?

Read Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1: 18-24

  • In Isaiah, God promises the Jewish people how the Messiah will be born, but not when.
  • Between Isaiah and the birth of Jesus, about 700 years pass.
  • What have you had to wait for in your life?
  • What are you waiting for now?
  • How does God use times of waiting to teach us something?

Read Luke 1: 26 – 38

  • What do you think was going through Mary’s mind?
  • How do you think Mary’s life all of a sudden changed?
  • Read verse 38 again. What does this tell us about Mary?
  • Have you ever had a verse 38 moment with God? If so, when and how? (Adults…this might be a great one for you to answer first)

Read Luke 1: 46 – 55

  • This is known as Mary’s song. It is a statement of her beliefs and her re-dedication to God.
  • What are some of the things she is saying here?
  • What are some reasons that Mary may have had to be angry with God?
  • Instead of being angry, how is Mary responding to her situation?
  • When have you or your family faced an uphill situation? How did you deal with it?
  • When you face uphill battles in life, what roll does God play in helping you get through them?

Read Luke 1: 46 – 55 once again. Only this time, look for the promises of God that Mary brings up.

  • What are the promises that Mary says about God?
  • When have you experienced any of these promises?

Closing

Close by having each person share what it is they hope for during this Advent and Christmas season.

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Scott has served in student ministry for over 30 years, the past 23 years at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman, Oklahoma, where he oversees ministries to Kindergarten through 12th grade as the director of student ministries. Having grown up in an incredible and life-changing youth ministry at Pioneer United Methodist Church in Walla Walla, Washington, Scott got his start in student ministry at Simpson United Methodist Church in Pullman, Washington while a student at Washington State University. He will never forget his first official Sunday as a youth director when 2 of the high school students who showed up were older then him! Scott has a passion for missions and leadership develop, and desires to create life-long disciples for Jesus Christ. He and Kristin have been married for 13 years, and welcomed an amazing little girl into the world in May of 2016. You can follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottMeier

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