This is a four-session study of the Advent. Each study includes about 5 pages of text to be read aloud, a Scripture reading (NRSV is used in text), 5 questions for reflection and discussion, and a closing prayer. The only preparation needed is that the lesson should be read through ahead of time by the leader. Anyone could lead using this book. There is no leader's guide. Although very easy to understand, it is focused on adults, primarily those wanting to gain further insight into the meaning of Advent for their lives. Published by Abingdon Press, the publishing wing of the United Methodist Church.
This is an Advent study that looks at the Christmas story through the experience of four characters from the Gospel of Luke, each of whom, in his or her own way, finds joy in hope.
Chapter titles include
"The Couple Who Expected the Unexpected"
(focuses on Elizabeth and Zechariah; Luke 1:5-25, 57-80)
"The Girl Who Obeyed the Unseen"
(focuses on Mary; Luke 1:26-56)
"The Father Who Kept the Faith"
(focuses on Joseph; Luke 2:1-7)
"The Prophet Who Confirmed the Hope"
(focuses on Simeon; Luke 2:21-35)
James A. Harnish is the author of numerous books and Bible studies, including A Disciples Path, Strength for the Broken Places, Simple Rules for Money, and You Only Have to Die. He is an acclaimed pastor and ordained elder in The United Methodist Church who has led congregations throughout Florida, most recently Hyde Park in Tampa where he served for twenty-two years. In 2014, after forty-two years of active ministry, he retired from full-time ministry and moved to Winter Haven, Florida, where he lives with his wife, Marsha, and enjoys writing, reading, and playing with his grandchildren.