Advent Service 4: Hope – A Reflection
Advent is a time of waiting and anticipation. It is a time of hope even in the darkness. It is a time of knowing that Jesus the Light of the world has come and has brought light to all of us. At this time of the year we remember that we are called to be light and hope to others in dark times. When people are waiting in darkness – maybe they are waiting for test results from hospital or are worried because they have lost their job or are fleeing war or are lonely and not excited about Christmas because they don’t have anyone to celebrate with – Jesus calls us.
Just as He is the Light of the world, bringing hope and joy and welcome to the majestic magi and the lowly shepherds, we also bring that Light to others at this time.
Supplies – index cards, dark marker, tape
The following tasks are considered (near) impossible for humans to complete.
Try out these ‘simple’ tests to see if anyone can succeed.
– Twitch your nose (without moving the rest of your face)
– Lick your elbow
– Rotate your right leg in a clockwise motion, while drawing a ‘6’ in the air with you right hand
– Wiggle your ears
– Place your palm on a flat surface with your middle finger curled underneath, then raise (only) your ring finger.
*This section is taken from Flame Creative Ministries: www.flamecreativekids.blogspot.com *
Nothing is impossible to God paper cutting illustration
Offer some members of the congregation a sheet of A5 sized paper and some scissors. (or invite people at home to try it themselves.)
Ask them to cut a hole in the paper that they will be able to fit their whole body through.
Some people will immediately decide that this is not possible, while some may have an attempt!
1. Fold the paper in half lengthways
2 Cut alternating ‘up’ and ‘down’ slits in the paper as shown
3.Cut through the fold of the paper, leaving the fold of the end slit pieces in tact
4. Open the paper out into a big circle that you can pass your whole body through!
You may need to try this a few times before you actually do it for real so that you know roughly how many slits you
need to make for your body to get through.
Talk about the fact that sometimes we are faced with problems that we don’t know how to solve – things that seem impossible to us. Ask if anyone has ever felt like that in their lives. Perhaps give an example of a time when you’ve faced hopelessness and how trusting in God has helped you.
In today’s readings when God’s promises are fulfilled, the impossible happens. The lion lies down with the lamb. Peace comes in places where only heartache and brokenness and dischord seem possible. But we can have a firm hope in a God who makes things possible. It may not look the exact same as what we hoped for because God’s ways are not our ways but God brings peace, even in the middle of crisis!
Mary feels hope bubble up inside her as she proclaims that the hungry will be filled with good things because of Jesus. As his hands and his feet we can bring that hope and that promise to many people who are hungry – hungry for food, for friendship, and for belonging, this Christmas.
(This reflection is adapted from our 2015 Advent newsletter)