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Bible Study: I'm Coming! - Advent 3 Epistle

Text: James 5:7-10 for the Third Sunday in Advent, Lectionary Series A
 Participants will:
  1. Patiently trust that God will provide in times of trouble.
  2. Grow in the faith that Jesus will come again to remove us from all trouble.
Materials Needed
Large Posterboard
Copies of Closing Prayer
Group Guidelines
  1.  Form two groups with an equal number of people.
  2. Using one group, make an inner circle of people standing back to back. Have the remaining group form an outer circle with each person matching up to an inner circle member. Everyone should be facing only one partner.
  3. Have participants introduce themselves, even if they know each other. Give each person 20 seconds to describe the best day of their life to their partner.
  4. After everyone is done, ask the outer group to move x (exact number will depend on the size of your group) spaces to the right. Have participants introduce themselves to their new partners and take 20 seconds to hear what they want for Christmas.
  5. Now, have the inner circle move x spaces to the left, making sure everyone has a new partner. Have the kids introduce themselves and share a time in their life when they had to be patient.
  6. When you're done divide each circle in half, making four small groups.
Building Community
  1.  Identify one member of the youth group who has endured, or is enduring a serious time of suffering (divorce, death of a close friend/relative, etc.) Have them share it with the group and tell how patience was involved. Who did they have to patient with? Was it easy? Why or why not? How did they act?
  2. In their small groups, have kids share brief experiences of times when they had to be patient, what they did, and how it turned out.
Looking at God's Word
 Have each group read the following verses and discuss the questions.
  1. Read Psalm 40:1
    1. How do you feel about patience? Dislike it? Afraid of it?
    2. What is your reaction to this verse?
  2. Read James 1:4
    1. What will patience produce?
    2. Do you think God is preparing you for something? What?
  3. Read James 5:7-10
    1. Share some one word reactions to these verses.
    2. What major promise does God give to those who are patient in Him?
Reinforcing What Has Been Learned
  1.  Have each group choose and examine one Bible character that demonstrated patience. Each person should share what they most admire about that character's patience. Some suggestions include Joseph - Genesis 39-50; Job-Job 1-2 and 42, especially 2:7-10; Paul -Acts 16:22-24.
  2. Set up the room as a television talk show. Ask each group to send a volunteer, the person whose mother's maiden name comes last in the alphabet, to play the part of their Biblical character. Select a youth to serve as the moderator who asks questions like:
    1. Tell us what kind of circumstances you suffered through?
    2. Why were you so patient?
    3. Didn't you just want to give up? What kept you going?
    4. What are you doing now?
 Create a youth group prayer chart using posterboard. Write down any prayers shared during Bible studies and prayer requests mentioned by the youth. Mark down when and how the prayer was answered.
Recite Together Psalm 40:1-3:
Leader: (Softly) I waited patiently for the Lord.
Youth: Patiently.
Leader: He turned to me and heard my cry.
Youth: Hear us pray.
Leader: He lifted me out of the slimy pit; out of the mud and mire.
Youth: Forgive us for the times we are impatient and begin to trust ourselves. Forgive our sin.
Leader: (Louder; Powerful) He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
Youth: He gave me Jesus, His Son, on a cross.
Leader: He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Youth: Praise the Lord! Shout for Joy! Hallelujah! God is Awesome!
Leader: Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.
Youth: Give all of us patience to wait on You! Amen!
Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 8, studies on the Epistle readings for lectionary series A, in 1995.
Revised and Republished in November 2013 for thESource

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