John 1:1-5,14; Isaiah 40:1-8; Mark 1:1-7
1. Read Isaiah 40:1-8 and Mark 1:1-7. What stands out to you about these passages? How are they connected? What images, themes, or settings overlap? Why is that important?
2. The desert imagery in both passages sparks the memory of the Exodus in the Old Testament. In what ways is the story of Jesus like a new version of the Exodus? How are we in Exile and in need of a deliverer?
3. How are the passage above related to the idea of hope? Why is keeping hope alive so important to deal with “exile” in the present time? How hard is the future without hope? In the same way, how bright is the future with hope?
4. Read John 1:1-5, 14. In reflecting on the meaning of Advent, how has the “word made flesh” impacted you personally? How has the deliverance that comes from Jesus made a difference in who you are today? Likewise, where do you want Jesus to deliver you in the future?
Think about your community. Who are the broken-hearted or oppressed? Who are the captives? How can you express and give hope in a tangible way to them this season?