While many may seem rushed during this particular time of the year, spend some time with your Lord in devotion and prayer. Consider the many blessings He has given you as we begin to prepare for His coming as the promised Savior and Redeemer of the world.
The theme for the first Sunday of the Church year, Advent 1, falls under the theme, “The return of Christ.” In the Old Testament lesson we learn that God will send a Messiah to execute justice and righteousness on the earth. In the Epistle, St. Paul reminds us to prepare for Christ’s return by being blameless in holiness. In the Gospel lesson, we are told to watch and pray as preparation for the sudden return of Christ.
Collect for Advent 1 – 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.
Monday, 22 November 2015—Psalm 89:6, 14-16, 18, Antiphon, Zechariah 9:9b – Behold your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation. These words were fulfilled by Jesus when He entered
on that first Palm Sunday. They hailed Him then but later rejected Him. How
would Jesus fare if He were to enter our city today? Christ is always coming to us whether we
recognize Him or not. In which ways does He come to us? Hint: It all starts
with the word “W” – Word, Wafer, Wine, and Water. Prepare for Him now while
there is still time. There will come a time when time shall be no more.
Tuesday, 23 November 2015—Psalm25:1-10; key verse, verse 6— Remember, O Lord, Your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. The Advent season is a time spent in reflection. We remember the Savior’s prophecies and we see how He fulfilled them. We remember His promises to restore and forgive us and we see how He worked everything out according to the Father’s plan. As we prepare for the beginning of the Advent season, spend some time thinking of the many gifts and blessings the Savior has given you. How ought we respond with thankful and grateful hearts? How can thanksgiving be translated into thanks living?
Wednesday, 24 November 2015—Jeremiah 33:14-16–God’s promise to send a Branch from David will be fulfilled. In verse 14, God promises to fulfill a promise. Was not the promise fulfilled in Christ? Is there still a promise to be fulfilled? Has the promise been fulfilled in you? Let’s look at the one who is coming. Who is He? He is the Son of David - royalty (verse 15). He is work in justice and righteousness (verse 15b). The result of His coming is salvation (verse 16).
Thursday, 25 November 2015—1 Thessalonians 3:9-13—Be blameless in holiness at the return of Jesus Christ. When Christ comes, we are to be pleasing to Christ. Paul explains what these requirements are. Who can meet them? Is it possible to meet these demands? Love – not only Christians but all people (verse 12). Be blameless in holiness – not only before men but before God (verse 13). How is such perfection obtained? It is found in the holy one of God.
Friday, 26 November 2015 – Luke 21:25-36 – Conditions of the world prior to Jesus’ return. Of this we can be certain, the end will come. Will it be this generation? Consider verse 36. The signs of the end are clearly given in verses 25-26. Know the signs! Thus in this Advent season we prepare for the end and for the celebration of Christ’s return. How might we do this? Consider verses 34-36.
Saturday, 27 November 2015—-Luke 19:28-40—These verses inspired the hymn, The Advent of Our King (LSB 331). We come to the beginning of a new church year. The harvest is complete. Thanksgiving festivities have come to a close. We now prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth. We anticipate Christ’s sure and certain return in glory. This year will it be a miserable or a merry Christmas? If you are prepared to meet Christ when He comes in the clouds of heaven you will be in the right frame of mind in celebration of His first Advent. Circumstances may change. Our perception to them is what is important.
Collect for the Glorious Reign of Christ — Lord God, heavenly Father, send forth Your Son, we pray, that he may lead home His bride, the Church, that we will all the redeemed may enter into Your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
A prayer for Christ’s return – O Lord, absolve Your people from their offenses that from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon us, we may be delivered by Your bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
A prayer of supplication – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because You desire not the death of a sinner but rather that he should turn from his evil way and live, graciously turn away from us the punishments which we by our sins have deserved and which have been borne for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, and grant us ever to serve You in holiness and pureness of living; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C – John Brokhoff © 1979 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH