- The passage from Isaiah 11:1-10 certainly lends itself to a conversation around the theme of “peace”. However, it could also be the basis for conversations about “hope” — especially since we all hope for the peace that is described in this text.
- Children and adults alike may enjoy trying to think of unlikely pairs that could live together when the reign of the Lord is fully realized. You could invite the kids to pantomime the pairs that people share.
- Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 reminds us that God is just — and God is a fierce defender of the poor and oppressed. How does your congregation follow God in this work?
- Romans 15:4-13 reminds us that the scriptures can provide us with a source of hope. Invite the congregation to share their favorite scripture verses with one another. Create a book of hope that highlights each of the verses that are shared (and have the congregation illustrate it).
- Matthew 3:1-12 introduces us to John the Baptist. What words of hope — and what words of warning — do we have to share with ourselves / the church / the world?
Prayer of Confession (inspired by Romans 15:4-13)
God of steadfast love, forgive us for the many ways that we create conflict instead of seeking harmony. Teach us to be people who dare to pursue your way of peace, that we may care for others just as you care for us.
Prayer for Illumination (inspired by Isaiah 11:1-10)
Spirit of wisdom, rest on us. Spirit of understanding, be with us. Spirit of knowledge, inspire us. Spirit of counsel, guide us. Spirit of God, open our hearts and minds in the hearing of your Word, we pray.