The Long Winter Breaks: Is the Good Lord Deaf?
The Long Winter Breaks, part 1: Is the Good Lord Deaf?
Practice, Part 1: Is the Good Lord Deaf?
By Cameron Silsbee
Begin with prayer
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting or via Zoom. After catching up on life, have someone pray inviting God’s Spirit to lead your time together.
Read this overview
The first Sunday of Advent calls us to slow down and acknowledge the darkness in the world, our neighborhoods, workplaces and relationships, and even in ourselves. This may seem unpleasant or pessimistic, but in the gravity and seriousness of darkness we find the true hope and significance of the birth of Jesus.
In her book Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ, Fleming Rutledge writes:
“Advent is designed to show that the meaning of Christmas is diminished to the vanishing point if we are not willing to take a fearless inventory of the darkness… It requires courage to look into the heart of darkness, especially when we are afraid we might see ourselves there… The authentically hopeful Christmas spirit has not looked away from the darkness, but straight into it. The true and victorious Christmas spirit does not look away from death, but directly at it. Otherwise the message is cheap and false. Instead of pointing out someone else’s sin, we confess our own: ‘In our sins we have been a long time.’ Advent begins in the dark.”
Talk through the following discussion question:
- When you consider the depth of the world’s brokenness, what issues or instances truly impress you with our profound need to be rescued by God?
Spend some time in prayer.
As a group, practice a type of prayer called “lament.” Lament is the prayerful acknowledgment to God of ongoing pain, suffering, darkness, or evil. This acknowledgment is often followed by calling on God to respond within his character to what is happening. End your time together by having someone express gratitude and hope in God as one who is against the darkness of life.