How does hope arrive in the world through Jesus?
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Read Genesis 8:6-12 (note the mention of 40 days of waiting). After the earth suffers long under humanity’s violence, God resolves to wash away corruption while preserving Noah and his family. The rain pours down, and for months Noah sways back and forth in an ark. He needs to yakhal (wait) in the middle of animal waste and landless seas. So what assurance is Noah waiting to receive? And how does the dove deliver that assurance?
Read Psalm 130 aloud together. The psalmist is sure that if God preserved a record of sin, everyone would be washed out—it’s a scary thought. What specific things about God bring the psalmist relief? What does he yakhal (wait) to receive from God?
Keep Psalm 130 in mind. What do you think the psalmist would do if he did not wait on God for healing and forgiveness? How do you think despair might lead to violence and corruption? Consider how the process of forgiveness removes corruption while preserving life. How is this similar and different from the flood and Noah’s long wait on the ark?
Read Luke 2:22-33 and pay special attention to details about the setting. Then, check out Leviticus 12:1-8 and note the mention of 40 days of waiting (33+7). Why do Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and Simeon go to the temple that day? What is Simeon waiting on God to do for Israel?
Let’s examine a few key verses, starting with Luke 3:15-16. Who does John the Baptist say the people have been waiting for? Now, read Luke 3:21-22 and compare the message that accompanied the Spirit (appearing as a dove) with the message of Noah’s dove. What similarities and differences do you notice?
How does the arrival of Jesus bring relief and assurance? Take time to discuss this and any other themes, questions, or key takeaways from what you learned together.