Lord Jesus Christ,
You see how bent over we are
Under the weight of the world’s habits,
This world’s greed.
Lift up our heads to see you
Our hearts to love you.
By your Spirit,
Help us to see you,
To hear your voice,
And follow you.
First Sunday of Advent
As we approach Advent our lectionary guide leads us again to the temple in Jerusalem, where we gather around Jesus. He is speaking to his disciples, and to us. Any expectation we may have of hearing a comfortable, stress-reducing Advent meditation is jolted into wakefulness. Jesus’ words are caffeine for our souls.
There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on the earth distress among nations confused
by the roaring . . . People will faint from fear and
foreboding of what is coming upon the world . . ..
Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’
with power and great glory.
Now when these things begin to take place, stand up
and raise your heads, because your redemption is
drawing nigh. . . .
Be on your guard so that your hearts are not weighed down
with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this
life . . .
Be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to
escape all these things that will take place,
stand before the Son of Man.
from Luke 21:25-36 NRSV
Listen deeply to Jesus’ words. Read them again.
Pay attention to the way in which Jesus calls our attention to how the condition of our heart and soul is expressed in our body posture; how the distress and confusion so rampant in the world causes us to faint from fear; how we become weighed down with a multitude of desires, concerns, and over-indulgence, and bent over under the worries of this life
As we listen, Jesus places a clear light in the midst of the cataclysmic confusion and roaring: he is coming with power and great glory.
In the light of this hope, he invites us to stand up, to look up, because our final rescue from all that holds up captive since Eden, is about to happen. Prayer holds us alert and ready, and prayer helps us to stay standing, ready to greet Jesus as he returns.
What is your prayer as you step across the threshold into Advent?
You come to us
In the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Help me to be present to you –
To be with you,
To listen —
With the ears of my heart.
Continue to free me from the many layers of death which hold this world captive.
Lead me in your Way of life.
Season of Advent: week 1
11/26 Monday: Luke 21:25-33
11/27 Tuesday: Luke 21:34-36
11/28 Wednesday: Psalm 25:1-10
11/29 Thursday: Jeremiah 33:14-16
11/30 Friday: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
12/1 Saturday: Luke 21:25-33
12/2 Sunday: Luke 21:34-36