Monday, November 22, 2010

Time in the Word - Advent 1

The Day of the Lord

Advent begins a new church year and is designed to prepare us for Christ’s coming both personally and cosmically. Advent 1 deals with Jesus’ Second Coming. It is the one Sunday of the year that is totally given to the doctrine, although the Epistles lesson in Advent 3 urges us to patiently wait for the Lord’s return. The Prayer of the Day cries for the Lord to come. The Hymn of the Day calls for us to prepare for Christ to enter our lives. The Gospel lesson emphasizes the need of constant preparedness for Christ’s return because the time of his coming is unknown. The Epistle lesson urges us to put on Christ as preparation for his coming which Paul considers to be soon. When God comes to us, according to the Old Testament lesson, all nations will have their differences settled and peace will return.

Collect for the first Sunday in Advent: Stir up Your power, O lord and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen

All powerful God, increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may fin an eager welcome at His coming and call us to His side in the kingdom of heaven, where He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Collect for Psalm 122: Lord Jesus; give us the peace of the New Jerusalem. Bring all nations into Your kingdom to share Your gifts, that they may render thanks to You without end and may come to Your eternal city, where You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen

Prayer for Harvest: Lord God, heavenly Father, through whose kindness we have again received the fruits of the earth in their season, grant us ever to rejoice in Your mercy that neither prosperity nor adversity may drive us from Your presence; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen

Prayer for Thanksgiving: Almighty God, whose mercies are new every morning and whose goodness, though undeserved, still abundantly provides for all our wants of body and soul, grant us, we humbly pray, Your Holy Spirit, that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness toward us, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen

Monday, 22 November 2010Psalm118:25-28; antiphon, Zechariah 9:9b —In the Introit for Sunday, we pray Behold you king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation. Fulfilled prophecy is one feature which makes Christianity so appealing. Throughout the season of Advent we will find prophecy after prophecy which was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Here is one among so man that the Lord as king would come to His people. During this busy and important season we prepare for Christ’s return in glory and we make ready our hearts and minds to celebrate His birth. If we prepared for the former we will be in the right frame of mind for the latter.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010Psalm 122 — This week’s psalm is what the pilgrims may have sung as they neared the temple gate within the city walls. The pilgrim prays for the peace of the city -the center of worship and the seat of government for the world nation.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010Isaiah 2:1-5— Isaiah tells us what will happen in the “latter” days. This refers to the end of the world. We may be living in the “latter” days now. In the latter days “all the nations” will see God on the highest mountain on earth. God will be the highest value and the center of the universe. They will come to God to receive his instruction how to live. This will result in international peace. The significance of “all” is that world peace depends upon “all” coming to God. Peace is not a unilateral project. Will it be possible to get “all” nations to come to God? If they are to come at the end-time, why not now? Here is one good reason to the church’s overseas missionary program.

Thursday, 25 November 2010Romans 13:11-14— When Augustine heard a child’s voice say, “Take and read,” he opened his Bible and read verse 14 from our Epistle for this week. Obediently, he “put on” Christ and he became one of our greatest Christians. To “put on” means to be incorporated into Christ so that one is “a man in Christ.” To be ready for the Lord’s Great Day, we put on Christ so that in us Christ confronts Himself. We are His people. He is one of us. To be properly dressed for the Lord’s Great Day, we are to put on Christ’s robe of righteousness. This calls for a human response. Christ is coming. We are to be ready by putting on Christ. This we do at baptism.

Friday, 26 November 2010Matthew 24:36-44 — To be ready for the Lord’s Great Day is a “must.” Not to be ready is to be lost just as the people in Noah’s day were not ready with boats for the flood. Jesus is not waiting for us to be ready. Whether we are ready or not, He is coming. Not to be ready spells eternal disaster. What does it mean to be “ready”? To be ready for the end is to live daily in a state of grace. If we are always reconciled to God by faith in Christ, it does not matter when Christ will return.

Saturday, 27 November 2010John 1:1; Luke 2:30-32- Sunday’s Hymn of the Day is Savior of the Nations Come. (LSB #332). John would remind us that the eternal God, the creator of us all broke into time and space to be our redeemer. This is what the season of Advent is all about. We make ourselves ready to celebrate the fact that God has become human. We celebrate that God has come to visit His people. He came at just the right time and He will usher us home at just the right time. This majestic hymn tells the story of salvation. As you review it think of Christ’s impact on your life, your family, your church and community and then share His story with those you meet.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Collect for Harvest and Thanksgiving from Lutheran Worship © Concordia Publishing House
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series A by John Brokhoff © 1980 CSS Publishing Lima OH
For All the Saints A Prayer Book for and By the Church Vol. II © 1995 by the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

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