Advent Meditations: First Sunday in Advent

Nov 28, 2021 by

                             PSALM                       Old Testament                      Epistle                           Gospel

Nov 28
am: 146, 147
pm: 111, 112, 113
Amos 1:1-5, 13-2:8 1 Thes 5:1-11 Luke 21:5-19



ABOUT THE LITURICAL SEASON – The first candle of the Advent Wreath which is lit today ( can be Royal Blue or Purple) symbolizes hope. It is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It is a reminder to us of the hopeful expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah. Increasingly people who are not part of a liturgical tradition wonder why we go through all these seasons, and festivals? As this is the first Sunday of Advent, I that is so dissonant from the cultures celebration today is a good day to consider the question. Of course, in this present climate we are in some would press the question further. Why the church at all? Why observe certain rites and ceremonies? Why pray, study, meditate and ponder?  After all it should just be sufficient that I am a just, honest, decent human being who harms no one and seeks in this time of year good will towards all. Certainly, Advent from this point of view would be less of a struggle between two gospels (Christ and the culture!)


Part of the critique of the rites and rituals in a season such as Advent is that they do not fuel any passion about the very message. Some might see us going through the rites and lacking the Spirit. That was the critique of the Puritans in the 16th Century England when Lord Crowell did away with Advent. Did such a removal create a purer spiritual response of anticipation and expectant hope? I am not sure. It was once said that the faith of such Christians is like a flint, from which sparks of fire can be produced only by repeated blows with the steel; otherwise, there is no sign of fire about it.


The opportunity that Advent affords us in our witness is to give to the skeptics and doubters another worldview. A worldview of hope!  Is the substance of life is more than what it appears and if so, do we live it on a deeper level as human beings? Do you suppose that, as we go through the rites and rivals of the season that a renewed passion might make an impression? Do you think that as we wait and watch and listen for God, he might just be waiting and watching and listening for us?  Is it impossible to believe that he might want to hear from us?  That he might be watching for a sign in our own faith which might allow us to sense him? It could be in a lighted candle, a sung prayer and act of compassion, the advent calendar. How will we know unless we try?


BIBLICAL REFLECTION – The Book of Amos which begins our Advent journey as part of the daily readings of the Church comes at an interesting time for us in a pandemic world that is plagued by supply shortages, health crises, civil unrest and rising inflation. Difficult days that call for a message of hope. Amos comes on the scene in the life of Israel in some difficult days as. Yahweh raised him up to announce judgment on Israel because of her covenant unfaithfulness and rebellion against His authority. Amos announced the destruction of the Northern Kingdom, but he also predicted that the Lord would preserve a remnant that was repentant. He would restore this remnant to political prominence and covenant blessing, and through them, draw all nations to Himself. Amos announced a warning to the residents of the Northern Kingdom, but he also held out hope. His name means “to bear”, “to place a load upon”, or “burden-bearer”. He lived up to his name, as God laid upon him the task of proclaiming judgment on an apostate nation. He faced the rejection and ridicule of the people. It is difficult to be the one who brings bad news to those who do not want to hear Amos emphasized God’s righteousness. As we see here in the beginning of this work spoke to tell the future, and lead people back to God, but also to help them make sense of their past. It was important for future generations to know why things happened, and Who made them happen. A message we need to consider sharing with our own people and our own time.


PRAYER: Gracious God as we begin this Advent Season help us see you as the God of Hope. Your son, Jesus, is a sign of your hope. Help us walk in that hope during the weeks of Advent. As we wait and prepare for his coming. May your hope fill our hearts
and grace our lips so that we might reflect your hope for all the world. We ask this in the name of Christ. Amen


ADVENT ACTIVITY – Let Advent into your home. Create or buy an Advent wreath, Advent calendar or Jesse tree today. Let your creation remind you daily that we are waiting for Christ to come. If that is not feasible acquire an Advent Calendar. Go to this link to create one through the following template


ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: “And so let us be glad and bear with patience everything the world throws at us, secure in the knowledge that it is then that we are most in the mind of God. –“St. Basil the Great – “Gateway to Paradise”

Letter from the Rt Revd Kevin Francis Donlon, who prepares the Meditations:

Dear Fellow Travelers on the Journey

Again, this year., Resurrection Parish in concert with our publishing colleagues online at Anglican Mainstream offer to you the 2021 Advent Meditation Booklet

Often, we have tried to strike a theme and this year is no different as the theme coming after the Pandemic  is ADVENT: Hope Amidst Suffering.

This year we have tried to make those that suffered due to the pandemic as well as those who suffer for the faith the backdrop of our reflections.

We have framed the Meditations based on   Liturgical Calendar and Observations for each Day, the Scripture Lessons for each day with Meditations, followed by a Prayer, an Advent Activity/Discipline and Thought for the Days entitled ANCIENT WORDS that can be done by people of all ages, and concluding with a quote from a great mind in the life of the church.

Why do follow meditations for Advent? Throughout the ages church has marked the spiritual life through the use of Scripture, the adherence of Tradition and the Discernment of Reason. So, we have taken those precepts and united them with a daily call to personal prayer and the joining of our prayers with the whole Communion of Saints, in the Daily Readings

Advent draws us into a deeper awareness of the truth and promise of the coming Christ, these meditations also keep us mindful of the great company of women and men who have come before us and sought and found God. Their witness is an encouragement to us.

The prayer is that this Advent Journey, be one where you may discover God anew, who is the source of all life, all truth, all hope and all peace. May it be a season where all prepare for the Christ, so he may find a home anew in our hearts and homes!

The Rt. Rev. Kevin Francis Donlon

Assisting Bishop, Diocese of Zanzibar

Advent 2021


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