Advent Dance – Hope

Father,

At this time of year we can get caught up in the hustle and bustle and what seems like the ‘necessities’ of life on earth. Help us to take a moment, catch our breath and recognise the HOPE that we have in you, the HOPE that you have given us, may it be an overflow in our lives. Amen

And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.’ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15. 12-13

As Advent begins, each Sunday it’s good to take a moment and realise the important things that we as Christians have. Over the next four weeks I hope to explore each aspect of the advent Sunday candles, with a small focus and some movement ideas for you to try. The first Sunday of Advent focuses on HOPE.

Hope can be seen in many ways. In the world people consider hope to something that they want to happen, or be true. As Christians we don’t wish or hope for something to happen, a Christian knows that their hope is solid, concrete and based on the word of God. In Hebrews 11 it calls it faith in action the ‘confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.’ Like faith, hope can not be moved by circumstance or what the eyes see in the world. Hope is down to your stead fast belief in the one true God.

Romans 15.12-15 will have different meanings to each individual. What stands out to you, what speaks to you and sets your heart moving? With life right now, ‘fill you with all joy’ and ‘overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’ stirs my heart. To know that God will always want to give an overflow of his spirit and hope and fill me with Joy can be hard, in amongst the chaos and busyness that December starts to bring.

Let’s get moving….

From Romans 15.12-13 pick two or three bits that stand out to you (or your group). Identify some movements that you maybe able to use to express those bits. Development Options:

  • Working with others, add support and ‘help’ to your movements
  • Add direction, level and travel to express how God can overflow into your movement

Reflection

>> Listen – Help from Heaven by Matt Redman << Find a space and take a moment with God. What do you hope for this advent? In what area do you need an overflow of Gods spirit?

As God brings these things to you, choose to write them down so you have an account, if you have a Hope jar, pop it in the jar.

Make a HOPE jar…

Gather a jar and make it your ‘hope’ jar. Turn a negative into a positive and watch God work. When there is something that you ‘hope’ for write it down and put it in there. After a certain amount of time, open up the jar and see how God has been with you through the things that you hoped for. Then maybe start all over again.

To make your own, you will need –

  • Jar with lid
  • Glue gun/ double sided tape or strong glue
  • Bits of ribbon or patterned paper
  • Rectangle to write ‘HOPE’ on
  • Whatever else you make want to decorate it.
  • Pieces of paper ready to write your ‘hopes’ on.

Once you’ve gathered your bits, it’s entirely up to you how you want to decorate it.

I pray that over the next, you will have an overflow of realising the hope that God has for you, and for all your circumstances in your life. Join me next week when we’ll talk about faith.

Prayer Jars

One of the things I love about teaching children, is how they soak up information and are keen to try and put it into practice. Our children’s workshops are as much about dancing as they are about finding creative ways to pray and continue the prayers once home. A great way to do this is with prayer jars.

What you need – 

  • Jars
  • Glue
  • Tissue paper
  • Ribbons
  • stickers
  • Anything else you’d like to use to decorate

Once you have all the bits, cover your work area, put aprons or old t-shirts on the children if necessary and then let them loose! Whilst they are decorating talk to them about some of the things that they might pray about, things to be thankful for, what they are afraid of, friends or family that might be sick. Encourage them once home to write it down, or draw it on paper and put it into the jar – doesn’t need to be complicated, just a few words – it’s their act of praying and giving it to God. After a set amount of time (6 months to a year) they can then empty the jar and talk about all that God has done though their prayers.

Prayer Jars – Aug 2016

How’s your Soul – Bible Study

Something that I have been challenged by today is how you can encourage others to be part of your faith journey, to encourage a conversation about what’s on your mind and what God might be saying to you.

To try and bring a thread to the workshops I am running, I am trying to pick themes in the run up to them. Not only am I hoping this will focus what God will say to me and want to share with those that come. But also allow opportunities for those that can’t make it to still be part of the journey, and for those that can make it to start thinking about what God maybe saying.

The first workshop of this year is on Saturday (will post details shortly) and we’re going to look at ‘How’s Your Soul’. Making the effort to be real with yourself about where you are at, what God is saying etc.

The YouVersion Bible has some great plans that you can follow, you can do this online or via an App that you can download to you phone/ tablet. So if you want to join me for 5 days. I’d love to hear how you get along. Click here to find the plan.