Advent Meditations – Advent Sunday

Dec 2, 2018 by

From The Church of The Resurrection, Tampa, Florida

                            PSALM                           Old Testament                     Epistle                      Gospel


Dec 2

am: 146, 147

pm:111, 112, 113

Isaiah 1:1-9 2 Peter 3:1-10 Matt 25:1-137

First Sunday of Advent: Today we start the Church’s new year, and we start on our journey of preparation for Christmas. For some of us Advent stirs up feelings of nostalgia. We remember the traditions we grew up with, we watch certain shows and movies, we listen to certain carols, and we put up decorations that some may see as outmoded but that we cherish. This brings us back to a day and time that perhaps is simpler and closer to the experience of peace that we seek. For others in our lives, the power of Advent is lost upon them because of the commercialism that has swallowed up this holy season. For far too many people it is a few weeks and shopping and of holiday parties ( as the word Christmas is increasingly politically incorrect). Suppose we turn the page on both possibilities and seek a completely “other” perspective. Instead of it being a hurried season of running from one thing to the next, let us consider it as a time to slow down, watch and wait! Let us live this time of waiting not only to celebrate a historical memory but to repeat this memory in our lives and in the service of others. This Advent could be a time where we wait for the Lord watching out, keeping vigil, being vigilant about the encounter of the Word of Love made flesh. enters inside us and focuses us every day of our lives.

As the 1st Sunday of Advent identifies a theme of  Hope with what has become known as  the “Prophet’s Candle” reminding us that Jesus is coming. we light the first candle of Expectation or Hope. It is not a  hope that “wishes something will happen” but it is a Hope that the prophets declared ages ago This hope is based on knowing God will do what He said  and so we become vigilant and wait in expectation..

MEDITATION: The Church offers us some important readings on this first Sunday we read from the beginning of the book of Isaiah. As  we consider these words the prophet  calls the people of Israel to repentance, to prepare them for the coming of His Son. But the Old Testament people of Israel is simply a foreshadowing of the message to those of us in the contemporary church. The Greek word for “repent” means “to change” and given the scope of how secular Christmas has become, efforts on our part to resists keeping Christ out of this season would be in order. A change on the part of Christians not to give in to the cultural CHRISTMAS but rather be vigilant about the call to do good,” and Isaiah mentions specific acts of charity that we might take to heart this Advent season: help those who are oppressed, by poverty or injustice; relieve the orphaned; care for widows. Let us consider such vigilance these coming days.

PRAYER: Almighty God, as we begin this season of Advent remind us again that during our darkness you are bringing us peace, to calm our anxious spirits and hectic lives. Turn our hearts again toward you. Make us ready to receive your Son our Savior. Slow our pace and give us the blessing of feeling your peace in our spirits. For we ask this in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen

Activity/Spiritual Discipline – The lessons today call us  to watch and pray. Perhaps each day we pray. Perhaps we could consider finding a few minutes to be still and to open our hearts without the use of words,  but rather with actions. There are many people in need of help and support. Adults without families. Some were orphans a long time ago, perhaps they have created their own families now or are alone in the world. Let us act on behalf of those without any family, who live alone and whose cry for help and friendship, this day by an act of charity.

ANCIENT WORDS/PRESENT GRACE:  “Advent is a time of waiting, it is a time of joy because the coming of Christ is not only a gift of grace and salvation, but it is also a time of commitment because it motivates us to live the present as a time of responsibility and vigilance. This ‘vigilance’ means the necessity, the urgency of an industrious, living ‘wait’.”. —- Blessed John Newman, 19th Century Scholar and Theologian


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