Collect and Readings for Advent Sunday, Jeremiah 33:14-16, Psalm 25:1-10, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Luke 21:25-36The Prayer for today 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. Amen.
Advent Sunday, the start of the Church's year, so Happy New Year. For Christians this is a time filled with a sense of expectancy. It's like knowing that when you come of age you'll inherit a fortune, or that in another few years your Isa account will mature. Only this is rather more mind blowing, than mere financial hope. The promise is there and stands secure, and God, being faithful, will keep that promise. Eventually, when the time is ripe, he will gather up all goodness and honour and patience and long-suffering that has been grown throughout the ages and bring things to completion.
This week's readings speak to the deep-seated longings of humanity for right and justice to triumph. They speak to our yearning for a final end to all the cruelty and misery of our world, some of which we all know from first-hand experience. Of course, it is serious and sombre stuff to be considering the winding-up of all the created universe as we know it, and it is very necessary to be reminded of our need to be ready by the lives we are leading.
Yet running through the readings is a clear, bright shaft of strong exhilarating hope, which we can catch and make our own. God is familiar with our world. He too hears the cry, generation by generation, of those who find faith in a good God impossible because we are overwhelmed by the sorrows and tragedies screaming at them. But ultimately, as Christ has already shown us on the cross, and in his risen life, it is good that triumphs, and God's harvesting at the end of time will be a glorious celebration.
Some things to reflect on:
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson