The First Sunday of Advent
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Jeremiah 33:14-16 I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow… Luke 21:25-36 Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory.
The word advent literally means arrival.
The Church uses that word for the season in which we celebrate both the first arrival of Jesus and then expectantly wait for his second coming. Perhaps, the overall idea of Advent would be Come Lord Jesus.
When Jesus first came to this world it was dark. It seemed that evil was winning. Israel had been experiencing hundreds of years of desperation and were waiting desperately for the Messiah, a Savior to come and save them.
For us today as we wait on the second coming of the Lord, it also seems as if evil is winning. Wars, pandemics, and the news on television make the world seem so much darker than before. And there does not seem to be much hope.
Hope is a difficult word to define. It is a lot like the word Love. Hope however is actually a religious word; meaning the origin of the word hope is hope in God.
We do not use hope that way do we?
Usually we use hope for things like: I hope my team wins, I hope I win the lottery, I hope I get that new phone for Christmas.
That kind of hope lets you down a lot of times. If you hope to win the lottery, then every week you are let down. If every week you do not get what you hoped for then your hope gets old, even when we keep saying there is always next week or next year. Even when we say things like have a little hope, or there is always hope, or there is a glimmer of hope. But hope that is in human things and hope based on people is, well...pretty hopeless.
Christian hope is different! Christian hope is God! Christian hope is a hope that never lets us down. Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit constantly reminding us and comforting us keeping our hope fresh and alive.
Christian hope is we win, Jesus is coming back!
And so in this season of Advent with all the chaos and darkness surrounding us; we have hope. We expectantly wait for God to fulfill His promise to send our Savior back for us.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
God, you have sent your Son into the world to live among us. He was tempted, and he suffered. His life was given for us. Through his death, we have been redeemed, through his resurrection we have hope.
May we live our lives so that the hope that we have gives hope to others.