First Sunday of Advent
Call to worship
These four weeks of the Advent season remind us to be watchful and alert — vigilant, not only about the future but also about the present. Our lives should abound in love and holiness that we may share in God’s glory now and forever.
- To the point: This gospel is not really about the end of the world; it is about the completion of the kingdom. The Second Coming is not a deadline; it is an invitation and incentive to live in a certain way in the present time. The gospel calls us to be vigilant not about a future event but about a present way of living shaped by the Jesus before whom we stand. Our destiny is to share in the Son of Man’s “great glory.”
- Connecting the Gospel (Luke 21: 25-36) to the first reading: The second reading spells out quite clearly what our daily vigilance looks like. We are to abound in love, be blameless in holiness, conduct ourselves to be pleasing to God, receive instructions given “through the Lord Jesus.”
- Connecting the Gospel to experience: Given our present experience of wars, poverty, natural disasters, some people conclude that the end of the world is at hand and are fearful. Rather than inviting fear of an imminent end, these same things call us to become more vigilant about the way we live and witness to the Gospel.
(Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36)
Be vigilant at all times.
Jesus. You came into our world with all its sorrows.
Keep us watchful for your presence
in the midst of our struggles.
Tell us again that your love will triumph.
Make us vigilant. Put our hearts on alert.
Let us be aware of all the places
in our world where you are. In all beauty.
Anywhere there is love.
In helping hands reaching out.
Come, Lord Jesus, to all the dwellings
in our lives where you are not yet.
The First Reading
(Jeremiah 33: 14-16)
The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise.
We have seen the root of Jesse,
which has shown us the way to go.
But the road is crooked and the hills are high.
We can know what you say but we cannot hear very well
over the moans of the oppressed peoples,
the cries of the hungry children,
and the din of all our wars.
As Judah yearned for safety,
so do we yearn for you, O Lord.
Come again with promises.
We long for healing and justice
The Second Reading
(1 Thessalonians 3: 12-4:2)
May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all.
Stretch us, Lord. We want to overflow
with love for one another and
for every person whom we should ever meet.
We want to be one family that shares
our earth, our riches, and all our dreams together.
Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck
Music for reflection