Advent Week One
December 3, 2023 / Ben Wishall
As we enter the Advent season, Elder Ben Wishall teaches about the Genesis story, the introduction of sin into the world, and the hope that we have in Jesus.
- God responds to Adam & Eve’s disobedience with “where are you?” (v9)
- When they were at their most vulnerable, lonely place, God wanted them, and us, to know that He’s looking for them. It’s safe to come to Him. He calls out to them, and us, that we don’t have to face this alone, we are never alone.
- Healthy shame is a gift from God, a response to our sin. It moves us towards repentance, asking for forgiveness, healing, and wholeness. It helps us not to repeat the behavior, grow in maturity, and recognize what sin is. Healthy shame is a feeling about an action, it is outward-facing.
- Unhealthy shame says something is inherently wrong with me. It’s about me, and it’s inward-facing. Sometimes this can be a result from something happening to us. God knows that when we are stuck in unhealthy shame, we need to be loved and cared for and brought back to the truth of the Gospel.
- God created us the same as He created Adam and Eve. Intentionally, without mistake, in the image of God as an icon, a reflection to the world. There is nothing shameful about the image bearer of the one true God.
- God gives a voice to those He cares about (He does not give the serpent a voice).
- Two powerful reminders about the hope we have in God in this passage:
- Curse of the serpent: the accuser’s species will never walk / talk again.
- Prophecy: the evil Satan has brought into the world will be crushed by Christ, the hope of the future. He will finish him off so we can walk in shameless glory in the person God created us to be.
COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION:
- How can you make hope part of your daily life (knowing God cannot and will not ever fail)?
- Share some promises of God, or names of God, with one another that you can cling to during moments of shame, vulnerability, and/or loneliness?
- As Ben concluded the sermon, he left us with the following questions for reflection. Discuss as a group:
- Ask Him to show you where you need to believe.
- Invite him in as your Everlasting Father.
- Where are you covering your shame?
- What loincloths have you put up?
- Where do you need to trust his Fatherly love instead of carrying that on your own?
- Where do you need to let down your guard, let down your hiding place, and invite Him to be with you?
- Invite the peace that comes with Him to wash over you, instead of walking through it alone.