First Sunday of Advent

Call to worship

Today we begin the season of Advent. Scripture calls us to be awake and ready. Advent is not about God coming to us — it is about us coming to God.

  • To the point: “As it was in the days … so it will be” — with these words Jesus points to patterns in human conduct. Humans have been unfaithful and faithful to God’s ways; have not paid and have paid attention to God’s instructions; have not been awake and stayed awake to God’s comings. The people in Noah’s days did not know that the flood was coming; Jesus’ hearers did not know when the Son of Man would come. We, however, do know that Jesus has come, taught us the way of faithfulness, and brought us salvation. We need only to “stay awake” as we work in the field. Advent is about our coming to God.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Matthew 24: 37-44) to the first reading: Isaiah describes the day when all nations will “climb the Lord’s mountain.” “Mountain” is a metaphor for God’s Presence. Our Advent journey, as in the days of old, is to climb the mountain of the Lord, to come to God.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: Advent itself is a metaphor for Christian living. As Advent is a progression toward celebration of the Nativity, so is our daily life a journey toward the fullness of Life to come. We need only to “stay awake.”

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Matthew 24:37-44)

Therefore, stay awake! … So too, you also must be prepared.

Come, Lord Jesus, make us ready for your kingdom.
Let us find you in the crimson-colored dusk,
in the crescent moon and flying geese.
Let us see you in laughing children,
in our brothers and sisters everywhere.
Make us always awake, watching for you,
prepared, with our hearts open wide.
Teach us how to “greet you the days we meet you
and bless when we understand.”

The First Reading

(Isaiah 2: 1-5)

They will beat their swords into plowshares.

No more war! War never again!
Let us drop our weapons;
turn our missile cruisers into lifeboats.
We yearn to walk in your light, washed in your peace.
Let us rise from every village and city on Earth,
and climb your holy mountain together.

The Second Reading

(Romans 13: 11-14)

Let us throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Now is the hour to rouse from our sleep
and take up the work of the day.
Jesus, be our light this day. Throw darkness out.

Copyright © 2022, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection