Reflections on the first Sunday in Advent

Sunday 29th November

1st Sunday of Advent

 

 

Readings:

Isaiah 64:1-9

Psalm 80

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:24-end

 

We pray:

O God of peace,

whose Son Jesus Christ proclaimed the kingdom

and restored the broken to wholeness of life:

look with compassion upon the anguish of the world

and, by thy healing power,

make whole both people and nations;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

The First Sunday of Advent is New Year’s Day for the church and a new cycle of lectionary readings (year ‘B’, with emphasis on the Gospel of Mark) will begin.

 

COLLECT

Almighty God,

give us grace to cast away the works of darkness

and to put on the armour of light,

now in the time of this mortal life,

in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility,

that on the last day,

when he shall come again in his glorious majesty

to judge the living and the dead,

we may rise to the life immortal;

through him who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

This year we all need, more than ever, to hear the message of light – of joy and hope that is the spirit of Christmas.

Before Christmas, though, comes Advent. Advent and Christmas are church seasons that form part of what we call the church ‘year’.

The church year begins in Advent and passes through seasons: Epiphany, Lent, Easter and so on.

Whilst these seasons might seem very ‘churchy’, they do all reflect different ways we human beings experience life.

Just like us, they each in their own time have a different feel or mood.

This year, the spirit of the season that we call Advent is particularly apt.

Advent is the time for watching, waiting and being alert – how that resonates in 2020!

This makes me think of the watching and waiting that we are all doing as we look for a return to ‘normal’ - or, more likely, the return to a ‘new normal’.

If we are looking forward to a new normal, what does that have to tell us about our ‘old’ normal?

This is the question that many of us are asking at this time as we have been forced to give up routines that maybe, just maybe, were not serving us, or our world.

Watching and waiting are not easy because they challenge us by making things that we keep in the dark push forward into the light.

And, there you have it – the spirit of Advent!

This Advent, do not be in too much of a hurry – ponder the old normal because a new normal might be waiting, shining with light and hope.

And, there you have it – the spirit of Christmas!

May the Light of Christ shine in your hearts this Advent and Christmas-time.

All seasonal blessings,

 Stephanie