Year 5 ‘Hope’ During the Reveal section in the topic ‘Hope’, pupils have been learning about Advent- the church’s season of waiting in joyful hope for the coming of Jesus, the promised one. Within Learning Focus 1 the pupils learn about Advent as a time of waiting.
Teachers are asked to adapt Learning Focus 1, page 86, Activity 2.
Using Isaiah 25: 8-9/ 40:9-11, the children learn about the Church’s teaching on Advent and the meaning of the Advent wreath.
Pupils write a script for a radio broadcast or design a PowerPoint presentation for school assembly which explores how the Christian belief in ‘Waiting in joyful hope’ is expressed in loving actions and gives shape to lives of Christians (Level 4)
Teachers may prefer to give this activity at the end of Reveal so that the work covered in all the learning focuses may be included. The following notes should be of help.
Understanding the three-fold coming at Advent
Remember that during Advent, which means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’ Christians focus on a three-fold coming. Advent focuses on the coming of Christ in history (which we celebrate on December 25) and a remembrance of how the people of God waited for the Messiah; Advent encourages believers to prepare to meet Jesus who comes every day in their lives. They also wait in joyful hope for Jesus to come again in glory at the end of time (the Second Coming). In other words, Advent affirms that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power. (The Second Coming is explored in Learning Focus 6 - ‘We wait in hope for Christ to come again’).
Waiting in hope
In Explore pupils look at what it means to wait hopefully. In Scripture, the word “hope” is an indication of certainty - a strong and confident expectation. In Learning Focus 1 pupils look at the prophet Isaiah who tells of the coming of the Messiah. The Jews - God’s chosen people - waited patiently for the coming of the Messiah, the Promised One of God, for thousands of years. They expressed patient hope in God even when going through difficult times – for example when they were taken into captivity and oppressed by the Egyptians and the Babylonians. They still believed that God would save them and bring peace, justice and righteousness to the world. Isaiah tells us what the Messiah will be like. In Learning Focus 4 pupils return to Isaiah who describes the Messiah as being like a light in the darkness.
In Learning Focus 2 pupils learn about another prophet, Jeremiah who also encouraged the Jewish people to wait hopefully for the Messiah who would bring happiness and justice.
In Advent Christians recall God’s promise to send a Messiah. Christians wait in joyful hope for the coming of Jesus at Christmas, when they celebrate the birth of Jesus in history, just as the people of God were waiting for the Messiah. Christians are also waiting in hope for the Second Coming of Jesus because at his second coming, he will put an end to all injustice, sin, evil, and suffering: he will finish the work he began with his first coming. Advent hope is about how God's people are waiting for his promises to come true. A Christian believes that in the end ‘all shall be well’. This is Christians’ reason for their hope that nothing can change or take away. Living a life where we stay near to God and keep alive our friendship helps to keep our hope alive.
A life shaped by hope
Level 4 1iii is concerned with how belief shapes life. Pupils will need to describe situations in which there is a clear link between what a person believes and the way they live. They need to move beyond the individual specific actions of believers to draw wider conclusions about how belief shapes all of life. This level requires a more comprehensive view: ‘I believe and my beliefs impact on the way I choose to live’.
Learning Focus 6 explains that hope is trust in Christ’s promises and knowing that God supports and helps his people. God is just, loving, merciful and turns everything to good.
For those who are finding these times difficult for one reason or another the message of Advent is “Wait for God in patient hope.” Christians believe that God has not abandoned them; God is with them though sometimes their lack of faith prevents them from seeing him. Wait in patient hope for God to fulfil his plans in his own way in his own time.
Here are a few examples of people whose lives were shaped by hope. They believed their suffering need not crush them and that in the end everything would be turned to good. To achieve Level 4 pupils will need to make links between how they lived, the Christian belief about waiting in hope expressed in the various scripture passages studied and link this to other sources such as the advent wreath, William Holman Hunt’s picture, ‘The Light of the World’, hymns such as, Christ Be Our Light, Bernadette Farrell and/or Let Us Build a City of God, Dan Schutte etc….