Announcing our hope in God — Family faith formation for November 14, 2021


Invite various persons to bring a designated item and use this liturgy as a way to begin your time of learning together.

One:    Come, let us gather around and see how the Spirit will nurture our faith today.

All:      Who is with us?  

One:    Christ, the light of the world.

(Place a candle on a table in your gathering place and light it.)

All:      Who is with us?

One:   The Love of God, who came to meet us in the world.

(Place a cross on a table in your gathering place)

All:      Who is with us?

One:    The Wisdom of God, who speaks through the scriptures  

(Place an open Bible on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?

One:    The Grace of God, who proclaims we are children of God

(Place a symbol of baptism – a bowl of water, a seashell – on a table in your gathering space.)

All:      Who is with us?

One:    Our risen Lord, who meets us at the Table.

(Place a symbol of Communion – a plate and cup, a loaf of bread and grapes – on a table in your gathering space.)

One:    We are here, Holy Spirit, ready for your leading.   

God sightings and prayer offerings

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something a person, community, experience, event, etc. for which they want to offer prayer.

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world … [Invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier.] We bring our prayers to you, prayers for … [Invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier.]. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

Connecting with Scripture — Hebrews 10:23-25

Read the scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.

For the second reading of today’s text, you will read the passage aloud again only this time read it in a reflective manner pausing after each phrase or verse. Invite those gathered to close their eyes and listen carefully, concentrating on the words and reflecting on what lingers in their minds and hearts during the pauses.

Connecting through story

Watch and listen to this version of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough sung by One Voice Children’s Choir:

  • What is the message this song is communicating?
  • Where do you hear hope?
  • Where do you hear confidence?

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue

  • How would you describe or define “hope?”
  • When have you hoped for something? What was it for?
  • When you say that you are “hoping” for something, to whom are you uttering that hope?
  • What is the foundation of that hope?
  • What is a confession?
  • What do you think the text means by a “confession of hope?”
  • What is the connection between hope and God’s faithfulness?
  • If Christian hope is that which is grounded in God’s faithfulness, how is Christian hope different from everyday hope?
  • What is our source of our hope?
  • How does Christian hope instill confidence and provide support?
  • How does the hope that is built on God compel us to do good deeds?
  • How does it prompt us to encourage or “provoke” others to do good deeds?
  • In what ways has God given you confidence in hope?
  • Where have you seen God’s faithfulness in your life and around you?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion

  • A confession, the faith language, can mean two different things. It can mean to admit and say aloud our sins — the things we’ve done to displease God or the things you haven’t done to please God. It can also mean a profession, or announcement, of what you believe. In these verses from Hebrews the author is calling us to the latter meaning — to profess, proclaim, announce our hope in God.
  • “Hope” is everyday language means to wish for something or to yearn for something to happen. The utterance of “hope” is vaguely offered to the universe and ranges from “I hope I get __ for Christmas,” or “I hope the Braves win the World Series.”
  • Christian hope is different than the common understanding or use of the word hope. Christian hope is based not on the whimsy of the universe or on human capacity, but rather it is based on God’s faithfulness.
  • Christian hope carries with it a confidence that is not found anywhere else because it is rooted in God’s consistent fidelity to God’s promises in the past, present and future.
  • Faith and hope are often linked in scripture — particularly in the New Testament. When we remember that faith, itself, is a gift from God we come to a place of peace that just as God gives us faith so too God instills within us hope.
  • Outcome of this gift of faith and hope is trust — a rock-solid trust that God will be who God is and God will act according to God’s steadfast love.
  • When our hope, trust and faith are rooted and grounded in God, then it becomes easy to encourage and support one another because we have the security, or as John Calvin would say, “the firm and certain knowledge” of who God is and how God sustains us.
  • Today’s text advises us to “not neglect meeting together.” The author’s own humanity, no doubt, informed this wisdom that we need one another, we need Christian community, to remind, buoy, stand with one another that we do have hope. When life is difficult, we can feel quite alone and sometimes lean into despair. Christian community and hope built on God’s faithfulness remind us we are never alone. We need one another to remind us, or to paraphrase Maya Angelou, to sing the song of hope back to us, so that we can find solace and strengthen in our Christian hope.
  • The hymn “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” is a beautiful expression of this concept of Christian hope. A hope that is constructed on the gift and grace of Jesus Christ can weather any trial and sustain any and every life. If you’re up for more music, consider watching/listening to this excellent arrangement. Pay attention to the words as words. While the hymn’s lyrics at times move into ideas and notions of the “end times” its message is still a powerful one for our present and future lives.

Watch and listen to the song again, but this time listen to it as if God is singing it to you. How do you hear the song differently?


Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, your community and the world.

Rebecca Davis is the associate professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. A teaching elder and certified educator, she served congregations for over 20 years before moving into academic teaching. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, her passion is child advocacy and ministry.