Advent Week 1 – Hope


Read Matthew 1:18-23 and your notes from Sunday morning’s sermon. (Also Luke 2:1-21 if you would like)



What does it mean to have Hope in Jesus? We discussed that this past Sunday as we began preparing our hearts for this Christmas season.

If you google the definition of Advent you will find that it is: “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.” Within most Christian communities the Advent season begins on the first Sunday of December and lasts four weeks. Advent is a time of reflection on the birth of Jesus. Before Jesus was born, the world was in darkness and without hope. Through the birth of Jesus, God invites us to a life of Hope, a life with Him, a life where the kingdom of God is here right now. 

In our lives, many things call for our attention and pull us in this direction or that. We have financial struggles, health problems, family trauma, fear of the unknown, and more. We distract ourselves with social media, news stories that will never directly affect us, the lives of celebrities and influencers, and anything that is easily consumable. 

God offers us a different option when he sends His son to be born on the earth. God gives us hope by making Himself available to us, by making His kingdom available to us. Jesus’ birth is the beginning of God’s invitation to apprenticeship with Him. This is the ultimate hope in not only eternity with God but in a meaningful and purposeful life as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

Throughout the next few weeks, we will continue to have Hope in Jesus as we learn how placing our hope in him leads us to a life of peace, joy, and love. 



  1. How does it feel to know that God invites us into His life through the birth of Jesus?
  2. What distracts you from walking with God daily, becoming more and more like Jesus?
  3. Do you feel hope at the thought of being able to let go of the meaningless parts of life that flood around you and accept the invitation to know God and be transformed into someone who embodies peace, joy, and love?


Feel free to discuss or ask additional questions as they arise


Spiritual Practice:  

As we enter into the season of Advent we will study and practice the spiritual discipline of solitude. Before we jump into what solitude is, let’s look at our preconceived notions surrounding it. When you think of solitude you might have some negative feelings pop up. Do you think of loneliness? Maybe you think of solitary confinement? Being left out or feeling completely alone? One very important thing to know about solitude is that it is not synonymous with loneliness, in fact, Jesus is calling us away from loneliness and into solitude. Richard Foster in his book, The Spirit of the Disciplines says: “Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment.” Solitude is more of an inner state of being than the act of being alone. It is an inner silence where we can find retreat. Often you will find the practice of solitude referred to as “Solitude and Silence.” because the two are so closely connected. We will learn more about practicing solitude in an inward sense, as well as the benefits of outward solitude, as Jesus did both. There is a freedom found in solitude that we desperately need today as many of us live in either a fear of being alone or a fear of being with others. This week reflect on what solitude means to you. Do you have fear surrounding the idea, or do you find yourself already practicing it in some way? Next week we will look at some examples of solitude and how we can practice solitude in our daily lives. 

Closing Verse: Titus 3:6-7 The Spirit He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is sure.