Week 3: The Lord’s Highway
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In groups of two or three, have participants respond to the following question: “Where have you encountered joy this Advent season?”
- How does verse 10 help us grasp what Isaiah is envisioning in verses 1-9? [This is a vision of what the return to land after exile will look like.]
- How would you describe what this return home looks like?
- Notice the verbs in verses 3 and 4. These are a response to verses 1 and 2. What are verses 3 and 4 calling us to do? Who are they calling us to be? [Being people of action does not come from our own strength. It is a response to the prior, gracious work of God. Our response is tied into our identity as God’s joyous people.]
- How is the vision of healing and wholeness in verses 5 through 10 ultimately a work of God? [Notice verse 4.]
- How is the psalm our declaration of joy?
- How is joy a gift of God and a state of being and not merely a temporary feeling?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of Joy, during this season when the sun sets early, help us to focus on the light that shatters the darkness. Give us the eyes to see you move among us and to experience a joy that transcends our circumstances. Give us the ears to hear again the good news. Give us the mouth to shout affirmations of your love for all to hear. Amen.