A Song of Hope
I. The OTHER birth STORY. (v.5-25, 57-66)
A. A FAITHFUL but BARREN couple. (v.5-7)
B. A ONCE in a LIFETIME event. (v.8-17)
C. Even FAILURE to believe gets USED. (v.18-25)
D. “JOHN”: God is GRACIOUS. (v.13, 57-66)
As Christmas approaches our thoughts turn toward the birth of Jesus and all that has meant for us and will mean for the future. Jesus is the reason for the season. But there’s another birth story leading up that that night in Bethlehem that has a lot to say to how we live here and now.
1. Kid’s Question: Ask your parents what it was like when they found out you were going to be born. What was your story?
2. What stands out to you about Zechariah in this story? In what ways do you identify with him or his actions?
3. What failures from your life have you seen God use? Which ones are you still waiting on Him to make something good out of?
II. The SONG inspired by the BIRTH. (v.67-80)
A. ACKNOWLEDGING where all hope STARTS. (v.67-70; I Pet. 1:3)
B. Hope is ROOTED in the PROMISE. (v.70-75; Heb 10:23)
C. Hope FLOWS through FLESH and BONE. (v.76-80; Col. 1:27)
Luke is known for the “songs” that flow out in the first few chapters. Zechariah’s prophetic song, known as the ‘Benedictus’ (the Latin word for ‘Praise be’), is a beautiful section of text that focuses around the hope of an old man for his coming child and for his people. There’s a lot for us to be hopeful about.
4. How would you describe your own hope for life? Think small scale about your own life and big scale about your hopes for the larger world?
5. Who has been an example of hope for you? What did they do that made that clear to you?
III. Living HOPEFULLY as we WAIT. (Rom. 8:24-25)
A. Cling to the PROMISE, not your UNDERSTANDING. (v.70-75; Heb 11:1)
B. Let your LIMITATIONS cultivate hope WITHIN you. (v.18-25; Rom. 12:12)
C. Remember hope FLOWS through HUMANS. (v. 76-80; Rom. 15:13)
D. May our “NAME” clearly COMMUNICATE God. (v.13; Acts 11:26)
So how do we live “hopefully” as we walk through a broken world that seems to crush people’s hope at every turn. There are several things we can do that can help bring hope you ourselves and those around us.
6. What are your own “limitations”? How is God using them to shape you?
7. What are some specific ways that you can bring hope into the situations you enterin the coming week?
8. What does God want to communicate to the world through you (and your “name”)?How can you work with Him in that task in the coming weeks?