There will be a four week Zoom Season of Advent: Bible study from 7:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Tuesday evenings starting on December 1st. (December 8, 15 and 22). Below is the outline for the Study. You are welcome to take part in any or all of the Zoom gatherings. The link will be posted. Trinity Advent Study 2020 (I used a Mennonite Church Advent study to create this pared down resource) I suggest you do the readings and candle lighting on your own. When we meet on Zoom (link will be posted), we will discuss the readings and any questions that have arisen for you. We will also consider the suggested questions.
Background Advent is a liturgical season in the Christian church year that starts four Sunday’s before Christmas. It has been observed at least since 480 CE. The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means coming or visiting.
Advent Wreath Create an Advent wreath in your home using 3 blue or purple candles and one pink candle. The candles on the outside of the wreath represent Hope, Peace, Joy (pink) and Love. In the centre you may place a white Christ candle but it isn’t always done. Decorate or make the wreath with evergreen branches. Some people place an empty crèche or manger scene beside the wreath and during the season of Advent they add the figures to the scene. The Magi or kings should be the last to arrive. It’s just another way of marking or completing the season.
Week One of Advent: Hope Light one of the blue candles. Read Isaiah 40: 1-11 (comfort my people); 1st Corinthians 1: 3-9 (day of the Lord) ; Mark 13: 14-37 (end times)Questions to consider: Is there hope in these passages? Why do we read them during Advent? What was happening in the lives of the first readers? What are your hopes and dreams? How are you keeping these alive in this trying covid-time? Do you think we are the first people to have suffered like this? What did our ancestors do to keep hope alive? Is science or faith going to save us? Are they the same thing? Different?
Here is the Zoom link for Dec. 1:
ID: 627 467 6724Zoom Meeting Passcode: 757083
To join by Computer click this link: https://zoom.us/j/6274676724?pwd=UEVGaW1OeFkzWjRMYzNob29PSGRQdz0
To join by Phone use any one of these numbers+1 204 272 7920 Canada+1 438 809 7799 Canada +1 587 328 1099 Canada+1 647 374 4685 Canada+1 647 558 0588 Canada+1 778 907 2071 Canada
Week Two of Advent: Peace Light the Hope candle and another blue candle, the Peace Candle. Read Matthew 1: 1-17 (genealogy); Psalm 85 (restoration); 2 Peter 3: 8-18 Questions to ponder: Is there peace in these passages? Why would Matthew start with a genealogy like this one? Do the Psalms bring you peace and comfort? Do you think Peace is possible in our world? Why? Why not? Any evidence? Are you feeling peaceful this Advent season or restless and worried?Are you reaching out to others by way of phone or internet? Where do you find reassurance- if you do?
Week Three of Advent: Joy Light the Hope, Peace and Joy (pink candle)Read Luke 1: 26-56 (Mary and Angel); Psalm 126 (rejoice); 1 Thessalonians 5: 16- 24 (rejoice)Questions to ponder: How do you understand and believe the story of Mary? Is Mary’s song political? Do women like Mary/ Hannah/Deborah play a strong role in our faith story? Why do you think that the Roman Catholic Church (among others) talk about and venerate Mary more than we do? Is everything possible with God? How is this a countercultural story?Does it bring you joy and hope for the future?
Week Four of Advent: Love Light all the candles of the Advent wreath. Read Luke 2: 1- 5 (journey to Bethlehem); Psalm 89: 1-4 (praise)Questions to ponder: Is the story of Mary and Joseph historically accurate? What is the significance of Bethlehem? Does she ride on a donkey? Why is love such an important theme in our faith? What does love mean to you? Do you feel loved by God? Others? Do you love God? Others? What other stories of journeys are there in the Christian tradition? Is this a central theme for your faith?