Youth Bible Study – Hope

Gathering Activity

Together with your group spend some time looking at George Frederic Watts’ painting ‘Hope’. Do not tell your group right away what the painting is titled.

There is a good summary of the work on the Tate website here

  • What’s the first thing you notice?
  • If you were to give a title to the painting what would you call it?
  • What do you think the painting is trying to say/convey?
  • Are you surprised the painting is called ‘Hope’?
  • Is hope the sense of waiting for things to change or about finding something within your present situation that is beautiful/good/valuable to cling to or hold on to?

Critics of Watts’ work say his painting would be more aptly named ‘Despair’ but according to the artist himself hope is “the music which can come from the last remaining chord”.

Bible Reading and Discussion

Read 1 Samuel 1:9-11, 19-20; 2:1-10 from The Message translation.

Hannah is torn apart by her inability to have children. Crushed in her soul she falls before God and vows to set apart her son if God should make her pregnant. When things don’t go to plan some believe that God has deserted them but it’s significant that even in her lowest point Hannah cries out to God. Fast forward the story Hannah becomes pregnant and gives birth to Samuel. She prayed when her soul was crushed and she prays when her hope has been rekindled. She shouts at God in despair and sings for joy when her prayers are answered. 

  • Have you ever shouted at God?
  • Have you ever asked God for something? What happened?
  • Why does God seem to answer some prayers but now others?
  • What is more difficult: for God to give us what we want or for God to enable us to see what we already have?

Taking It Further

What Does Hope Look Like? Hand out lyrics and listen to the song ‘Two Shades of Hope’ by Foy Vance.

You will need to print song lyrics for Two Shades Of Hope by Foy Vance. These can be found here. The song itself can be found on Youtube.

Encourage your group to circle/highlight/underline parts of the song that speak to them the most.

Provide some art materials and invite the young people to create a piece of art work in response to the question “What does Hope look like?” They might want to draw inspiration from Watts’ painting, or today’s bible story or the song.

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