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Living on Hope: Isaiah 9:1-7

But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. 4 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. This is the first of two Advent lessons, the second of which will be our Christmas Eve message. It is also our last sermon note for the year. As your group gathers for the final time in 2022, reflect on the previous twelve months. What has gone well, and what has been challenging? How have you grown, and what has the Lord revealed about your need for further understanding and growth? Christmas is our celebration of Jesus’ first Advent, and we also look forward to the next – His second coming! What are you doing to prepare for that?—Isaiah 9:1–7 (ESV)

WATCH—This clip from today’s message:
ICE BREAKER— Tell everyone your favorite Christmas memory.

QUESTION— Today’s message is about hope. When you were a child, what did you hope for “when you grew up?” Have your hopes been realized?


QUESTION— For many, childhood optimism has been dimmed by the darkness of our world. Have you experienced that? Have you ever felt like you were living in a dark world? Tell the group about that time.

READ— Matthew 4:12–17 and John 1:5, 8–9; 8:12; 9:5

QUESTION— The Gospels say Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:1-7. How is He the light of the world?

READ— Matthew 5:14-16

QUESTION— How can we be the light of the world if Jesus is the light of the world?

QUESTION— Read John 3:19-20

QUESTION— How does this passage define love and hate?

QUESTION— The titles of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 reflect aspects of His identity.

Which one resonates most with you? Why?

READ— Genesis 12:1-3

QUESTION— How is that passage related to Isaiah 9:7?


A word to my friends…

It has been my pleasure and honor to publish these study notes for you in 2022. It is a great honor to be your pastor. In the year ahead, I pray that God will grant you clarity, courage, and compassion as you take grace to our world.

God bless you,

Rick Wilcox
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