First Sunday of Advent: WATCH
Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Matthew 24:36-44; Romans 13:11-14
1. When will the “mountain of the Lord’s house be established as the highest of the mountains” (v. 2)? What do you think would be the standard question? Are we always prepared to receive something new or different? Who will come to the Lord’s house (vv. 2-3)? What will the people expect to receive when they go up to the house of God (v. 3)? Where do you look for guidance and how often do you seek guidance?
2. What will God do between the nations and among the peoples (v. 4a)? What does the word “judge” mean? What is the message of hope in the rest of verse 4? Do you think wars will ever end? What are the people called to do in verse 5? Is it easier to hate or love? Do you want blessing or curses?
3. For what is the psalmist giving thanks (vv. 1-2)? What is the purpose of this pilgrimage? How isJerusalemdescribed (vv. 3, 5)? Do you think people were afraidJerusalemmight fall to an attack (v. 3)?
4. For what does the psalmist call the people to do and for what reason (v. 6)? If you truly love God, how do you relate to other people and yourself? What is implied if the psalmist is praying for peace within the walls ofJerusalem(vv. 7-8)? What does the psalmist seek from God (v. 9)? What do you seek from God?
5. Read verses 29-31 of Matthew 24. What is the question that must have been asked for Jesus to reply as he did in verse 36? What is the meaning of the reference to Noah in verses 37-39—what did God cause to happen and in response to what (See Genesis 6-7)? What are the implications of verses 40-41?
6. What are people urged to do and why (v. 42)? How is Jesus compared to a thief (v. 43)? How do you relate to Christ—a savior, a judge, a friend, a disciplinarian, etc? What are we called to do in verse 44? If we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, how should we live our lives? Are we just to sit and wait for Christ’s return? What do you experience in Holy Communion—is Christ present—has Christ come to judge or to forgive? What are you waiting for in your life?
7. About what time is Paul writing in verse 11? Why would Paul accuse the readers of being asleep (v. 11)? Is he writing to believers (v. 11)? Does Paul say there is plenty of time to address his concerns (v. 12)? Who is limited by time?
8. What does Paul imply about us as believers (vv. 12-13)? Instead, what does Paul call all of us to do (v. 14)? What does it mean to live honorably (v. 13)? What helps us overcome our weaknesses and our selfishness? What time is it for you?
Second Sunday of Advent,December 4, 2016: TURN
Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Matthew 3:1-12; Romans 15:4-13