Seth Moland-Kovash, Palatine, Il

Warm-up Question

 What are you most looking forward to right now?

Are you Excited?

Anticipation and excitement are two very powerful human emotions. We look forward to vacation, to time off from school or other responsibilities. We might look forward to family time, to Christmas, to gifts (giving and receiving). Simply the act of anticipating something releases powerful chemicals into our bloodstream which make us feel the joy – that’s what anticipation is.

Companies that try to sell products to us know this well. This is what advertisements and pre-release promotions are all about. The companies are trying to create anticipation in us so that we feel that joy and then want it more and more—and seek out the product they are promoting. Sometimes this is done through industry events like the Consumer Electronics Show. This event, held in January each year, is all about creating anticipation. The event is an opportunity for companies to tell us what consumer electronic products (mobile phones, televisions, computers and the like) they will be releasing in 2019. But the weeks leading up to the event are themselves about anticipation. Companies will tease what products they will be announcing at CES to build up the anticipation. As the linked article tells us, even before the official event starts on January 8, there are two “media days” where companies jostle for headlines and buzz – all trying to create the most excitement and anticipation they can for their products.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you like to be the first one in your family or friend group to try something new? This could be a technological thing or some other kind of experience.
  • Are there new technological products or innovations you are excited to see? 
  • Have you ever experienced disappointment when you’ve finally gotten to do or see or use something that you’ve been anticipating?

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Micah 5:2-5a

Hebrews 10:5-10

Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]

(Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year C at Lectionary Readings

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.

Gospel Reflection

Mary was excited and Elizabeth was excited. These two women were experiencing an anticipation that is a common occurrence for people throughout history – the expectation of the birth of a child. Each was excited to meet her own child and to see what would become of him.

This story tells us of another level of excitement. When Elizabeth saw Mary, the child in Elizabeth’s womb (John the Baptist) “leaped for joy.” Elizabeth is sharing her testimony that even the unborn child she carried was anticipating and excited about the unborn child Mary carried.

We know the rest of the story – we know that John was a bit of a predecessor to Jesus in public ministry. We know that John baptized Jesus. We also know that Jesus would save the world through his life, death, and resurrection. It seems that John knew that too – even before birth.

Discussion Questions

  • Can you relate to John’s excitement about Jesus? What excites you about Jesus?
  • John shared his excitement by leaping for joy. How can we share our excitement about Jesus?

Activity Suggestion

Snap pictures of you and your youth group showing your excitement at Jesus’ coming. Get creative. Use props or facial expressions. Share your pictures with the world through social media.

Closing Prayer

Come Lord Jesus, and fill us with joy at your birth. Amen.