Welcome back! This is Journey – Advent Week 2 (Published on Sunday 8th December) If you would like to find out more about the vision behind ‘Journey’, check out our intro video [here]. If you missed week 1, don’t worry, you can catch up [here] or, just join in from right now.
If you joined us last week, maybe take a moment as you start to give people an opportunity to share what they’ve been thinking about this week as you have reflected on your wondering questions.
Our “backdrop” passage for this set of Advent reflections is found in Isaiah Chapter 9 – lets read it again to remind ourselves of these fantastic words – have someone in your family read this out
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne establishing and upholding it with justice and righeousness
from that time on and forever.
Isaiah 9: 6-7
In week 1 we had a think about Jesus as our Wonderful Counsellor – this week we’re going to spend some time reflecting on the next “name” of Jesus in this passage : Mighty God!
Ask someone to pray – their own prayer, or just read these words, “Thank you God that though you are Mighty you care about each one of us. You are here with us now – help us to hear your voice as we read the Bible and chat together .” Amen
Let’s have a look at a couple of short passages that tell us a bit more about what “Mighty” looks like.
First up, in 1 Kings, the Lord appears to Elijah – Have someone read it out.
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
1 Kings 19: 9-13
Strength and might doesn’t always look the way we might expect it to! When God told Elijah to go out and stand on the mountain, that He was going to pass by, he was probably expecting that to look more like the mighty wind or the earthquake. It would have been so easy for Him to miss the gentle whisper. Yet in the stillness of that gentle whisper, he meets with the almighty God and is transformed in a ‘mighty’ way!
The following verse is found in the very last few sentences of the Book of Zephaniah – Have someone read it out.
The Lord your God is among you; He is mighty to save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 (Berean Study Bible)
“The Lord your God is among you.” Wow, a reminder right there of Jesus coming – Immanuel. God is among us. Here comes mighty God – look out! Yet, when Jesus was born so many missed it – who were they looking for? A mighty saviour would arrive with trumpets and an army surely . . . ? A shout of triumph would go up across the world not a baby’s cry from the little town of Bethlehem.
Yet God’s might, all his fulness, is in Christ. This is a mighty God who will . . . quiet us with His love.
I LOVE the juxtaposed language of our Zephania passage, that reminds of this so well. The Mighty God will quiet us with His love.
In the business of life which can often feel more like a hurricane or earthquake, let’s not miss the gentle whisper of our mighty God as he quiets us with His love and rejoices over us.
Give each person a plain piece of paper and have some pens/paints/pencils available. Take a few minutes to each draw a picture that represents ‘Mighty God’. And don’t worry if you are not the next Picasso – it may be a drawing or you may just choose to write the word mighty in a certain way. As with many things, this activity is more about the ‘why’ than the ‘what’. By that, we mean that it doesn’t matter if your creation is not necessarily gallery ready. As you each share your pictures with each other, make sure you take some time to explore and explain why you have created what you have. You will all have different reflections and thoughts and will each have a slightly different perspective. It’s great to share that and learn from each other!
Take time to think over these wondering questions – by time, we means days . . . give each person in the family space to think their own thoughts, write, draw or say things that come to mind in their own time and at their own pace.
We were all involved in coming up with these in our family, and are going to stick them on our fridge as a reminder through the week – you might, of course, come up with some great wondering questions of your own.
- What does Mighty God mean to you?
- What will help you remember that your Mighty God is with you this week?
- How can we make space to hear the still small voice when life is loud?
- As you tune in to the quiet whisper, what might God be saying to you?
Re-connect and Reflect. Pick a time to come back together later in the week – maybe over a meal or at a time that works when everyone is around. Be prepared to share a little about what you have been wondering about.