Weekly Discussion Guide


Waiting in the Dark

by Pastor Matt Manning on November 26, 2023


Pastor Matt began this year’s advent series by reminding us that the Good News of the season began in the dark. Only by understanding our need for a Savior do we see that the event we celebrate at Christmas has infinite importance to our lives.

Describe a time when “a light came on” and you finally understood something that had stumped you for years.

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—

as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—

to make your name known to your adversaries,
and that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome things that we did not look for,

you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From of old no one has heard

or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,

who acts for those who wait for him.
You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,

those who remember you in your ways. (Isaiah 64)

Isaiah expressed a wish that God would come down and take care of business with his detractors and enemies.

Do you ever wish God would come down and just set things straight? If so, what would you like Him to decisively address?
In what sense is that guaranteed to happen when Jesus returns? What’s comforting about that?

What’s terrifying about that?

Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;
in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?

We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.

We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you;

for you have hidden your face from us,
and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Be not so terribly angry, O Lord, and remember not iniquity forever.

Behold, please look, we are all your people. (Isaiah 64)

Isaiah leads his readers through a time of confession.

Do NOT answer these two questions out loud; keep your responses between you and God.

What’s the most damage your word or actions have caused in a relationship?

What was the dark motive that drove you to do or say that particular thing?

Now answer this one in the group or with an individual you trust ...

When it comes to confessing our sins to God, why is it important to also acknowledge our dark motives that drove us to do a particular thing?

Once we do that, how does the Holy Spirit shine a light in that darkness?

As the advent season begins, take some time this week to meditate on the condition of your soul. Are you good with God? Do you feel like there’s something you need to address with him?

What is it about your soul’s condition that’s worth celebrating? Express your gratitude to God for the value that you place upon that healthy part of your spirit.

Tags: advent, darkness, patience, waiting, christmas eve, elizabeth, excitement, light of the world, anticipation, zachariah, spoken word, crossroads church, crossroadsabc, long wait, zacaharias, waiting in the dark

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