We meet together at 7.30pm on Tuesdays (see current dates below)
Two important points!
1) You don't have to know lots about the Bible, we are learning from one another!
2) Zoom is really quite easy (and secure) to use, whether using a laptop, tablet or phone. More info about using Zoom can be found on our PDF handout.
Looking for expressions of hope in the Bible as we move through Advent
All are welcome, don't worry if you can't make every week!
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Meeting ID: 953 2717 8866
There is a free copy of the Bible study which you can view or download from this link
An introduction to the study
Our definition of ‘hope’ will depend on our situation, and whether we are in a stable place emotionally or facing difficulties and anguish. At its simplest, hope can be the wish for something we desire to happen, and as diverse as hoping to see a long-lost friend later in the year, hoping the next bus will arrive on time, a dear friend who is ill will recover, the country votes for our choice of government, or that the police catch the thief who recently broke into our car. It can relate to the small world we inhabit as individuals or reach out to touch all people.
For those of us who call ourselves Christians, hope takes on a different dimension. It is still about our day-to-day existence and seeing hope within it, but it is also about a future hope for ‘salvation’, ‘resurrection’, ‘eternal life’ and how these strands intertwine and influence our relationship with God and the world.
The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 was a few months old when I wrote this study, and we were emerging from an initial fear of the unknown into a period of increasing knowledge about this virus, those most vulnerable to its ferocity and how best to change our behaviour to minimise chances of infection for ourselves and others. It also brought out the best in so many people, offering their help to the vulnerable in local neighbourhoods. Into what was a period of mourning and fear for many, emerged a hope that there could be better times ahead.
There are many ‘hopes’ that reach the news headlines, and far more that do not. They should cause us to question how our faith can speak into these situations and affect our response.
Defining Christian hope in a paragraph is not that easy, but I offer this as a starting point:
‘Biblical and Christian hope does not mean living in the clouds, dreaming of a better life. It is not merely a projection of what we would like to be or do. It leads us to discover seeds of a ‘new world’ already present today, because of the identity of our God, because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This hope is, in addition, a source of energy to live differently, not according to the values of a society based on the thirst for possession and competition.’ (https://www.taize.fr/en_article343.html)
‘I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.’ (Billy Graham)