Study Guide Materials
First Week of Advent: Materials
The first week theme focuses on preparing for the newness to come. We experience new things in our lives all the time; however, the newness of Advent is bigger than anything new we’ve ever experienced before. It is a new reality. A new reality given to us by God and ushered in by a baby in a manger, that is beyond our imagination. This week, Brueggemann invites us to get ready to welcome the new reality God promises.
Second Week of Advent: Materials
The second week theme focuses on paying attention to God’s new reality. We have trouble seeing beyond the delights, frustrations and even horrors of the material world. We get lost in life as it is and forget that God is powerfully at work. This week, Brueggemann invites us to pay attention to this “new world” in our midst, and reminds us that we do not have to do it alone; God has given us his son, and, through Jesus, we are being transformed into people made for this new reality.
Third Week of Advent: Materials
The third week theme focuses on embracing the newness Jesus offers. We have been told what to expect when God’s kingdom comes to this earth: justice, mercy, peace and abundance beyond what we can imagine. Yet, we often expect too little from God. John the Baptist was someone who expected and proclaimed what many would think impossible: a saviour who would usher in a new world order. This week, Brueggemann invites us to be like John and “bet on the possibility, the newness brought by God” (p. 43).
Fourth Week of Advent: Materials
The third week theme focuses on surrendering to God’s purposes. This week, Brueggemann calls us to boldly step into God’s future by “bet[ting] on the baby” (p. 61). This means letting God break our “old patterns and expectations” like God did for Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds when Jesus was sent to disrupt and transform their lives (p. 55). “Betting on the baby” means that we do not settle for the world as it is, but we allow ourselves to be powerfully displaced in “new and healing and liberating” ways by Jesus (p. 69).”