- How would you compare and/or contrast the first coming of Jesus (the nativity story) with the second coming of Jesus (in a cloud with power and great glory). As an LGBT person or ally, what gift/gifts would you bring to Jesus at each coming? With which Jesus – the historical Jesus or the glorious Jesus – do you see yourself connecting with? Why?
- In the first part of the Gospel, Jesus elaborates on two very different experiences of the same reality: dying of fright and standing erect. Based on your life journey, as you navigate through sin and grace, which experience do you see yourself allying with to stand before the Chosen One: dismayed, perplexed and frightened or standing erect with head raised ?
- The second part of the Gospel lists directives on how to prepare for the great (and terrible) day of the coming of Jesus. During this advent what is God requiring of you in terms of prayer, preparation and vigilance? What strengths would you need to summon to remain focused?
- Beginning with Moses, history is full of examples of people who have “been to the mountaintop, peered into the promised land, heard and believed the promise of a better future and found the challenges of the present not only endurable, but hopeful” – Numbers 27: 12-17. As an LGBT person or ally, would you agree or disagree with this statement that amidst the very real setbacks and challenges faced by the LGBT community, one can still “stand up erect with head raised?”
- What does the advent wreath symbolize to you? What personal connections do you feel with the evergreens, the colors of the candles, and the flame? Would you change any of the symbols or colors to create your own personal advent wreath? What would that wreath look like and what would it symbolize to you?
- In the reading from Jeremiah, Yahweh says, “The days are coming when I will fulfill the promise I made…” What promises do you believe God has made to LGBT people and allies? Do you believe they will come true? Have you seen any already come true?
Being vigilant at all times and praying for the strength to escape tribulations is not just an “end-times” phenomenon. Many in the LGBT community today face an eternal advent where the cry to “be safe” and “dwell secure” (1 Jeremiah 33: 14-16) is unceasing and relentless.
In the video below, Immigration Equality presents 3 such stories where Advent is real and hope is tangible.