Sermon Recap and Small Group Discussion Questions
We are three weeks into this Advent series and have discussed what it looks like to have a higher perspective of God's hope, love and most recently, joy.
We tend to think of joy as circumstantial, or contingent upon what is happening around us. As Pastor Chad pointed out to us through the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel, joy is a posture we can choose to hold.
Consequently, as we are talking about posture, I have been learning this week about the effect that tilting our heads has on the rest of our body. When we lean our heads down at an angle, such as when we are looking down at our smartphone, it puts an enormous amount of pressure on our cervical spine. If you bend your neck at a sixty degree angle, that is like holding 60 lbs of extra weight around your neck. If you are having trouble imagining that, think of holding an 8-year old child around your neck for several hours a day. Not surprisingly, the physical ramification for that kind of constant pressure are severe.
Our emotional posture is no different. We must be cognizant of how we are carrying ourselves, and where our eyes are fixed. Are we hunched over, trying to protect ourselves from the onslaught of pain around us? Or are we standing tall and confident, choosing to walk in steadfast joy no matter what crosses our path?
Despite the fact that Hannah is tormented by people around her who want her to believe that she is less than enough, she continues seeking God's will and worshipping Him in the midst of her grief.
We too must take up a joyful posture. We are not victims of our circumstances, but are able to take the gold out of each situation and make something beautiful with it. So stand up to the voices around you trying to deceive you into thinking you are a failure! Bow down to the God before you who promises to make beauty from ashes! Finally, rest in the assurance that joy comes from trusting who is to come, not in the circumstances at hand.
Sermon Bulletin: Click here.
Sermon Discussion Questions:
1. What small change can you make in your daily routine that sets the tone for your day to be a joyful one?
2. What is your atmosphere like? Do you have a lot of negativity around you? Do you have people that give you encouragement?
3. Think of three changes you want to make internally (emotionally, mentally) and externally (people, routine) to ensure you are living in an environment that is joyful.