December 15, 2019

Advent 2019 – Week 3: Joy

Listen. James, the half-brother of Jesus, is the author of the book of James. He served as the leader of the world’s first church, the church of Jerusalem. This was a community that experienced poverty, hunger, persecution, imprisonment, and even the murder of some of its members. James himself would be killed soon after this letter was written. Put yourselves in the shoes of James and his community as you read James 5:7-10.

  • What commands stand out in this passage?
  • What does James tell his readers to do?
  • What does he tell them not to do?
  • Why do you think James connects patience and not grumbling?
  • What two groups of people does James hold out for us as models of patience to be imitated?
  • How can we imitate them?
  • Finally, what are we waiting for?
  • Why is it worth it for us to be patient?

Respond. Be specific and personal in responding to the following questions.

  • How would your life change if you truly believed that the coming of Jesus is near?
  • How is God challenging you to be patient?
  • How have you been grumbling and complaining against other people?
  • What will you do about it?

It has been said that the opposite of anger and impatience is gratitude and hope.

  • What has God done for us that you are grateful for?
  • What has God promised to do for us that you are hopeful for?
  • What will you do to remind yourself of what you are grateful and hopeful for this Advent season?

This is the third week of Advent, and this week we light the two purple candles of the Advent wreath that were lit the previous weeks and the pink candle, which is called the “joy candle.” Read Isaiah 35:1-10 after lighting the three candles. This passage describes the joy that the world will experience when Jesus returns. What do you see in Isaiah 35:1-10 that gives you hope and joy? How does it give you strength to be peaceful and patient today?

Share. What have you learned through this study that you can share with others? Make a plan to share it with at least one person in your life.

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