Advent I Sunday

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Advent I 2011

The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word “Adventus”, which means “coming”. It marks the beginning of a new liturgical year in the Western churches. The liturgical color for this season is purple to signify that, like Lent, this is a time of preparation. It is a season of looking forward and waiting for something greater. This is also a time to encourage God’s people to get ready, because the Kingdom of God is at hand. The church is asking us today to give an exhortation and in the Anglican Church, we do that only 3 times over the course of the liturgical year: the first Sunday in Advent, the first Sunday in Lent and Trinity Sunday.

Reading of the exhortation

Our Gospel gives us all the themes of the four Sundays in Advent. Today, the church reminds us of the duty of preparation. That preparedness has nothing to do with shopping or parties. We are invited to be prayerful and to show love to one another. In the Gospel, we have an example of preparedness, in the disciples and the crowd, and the unpreparedness, in the temple.

The next message of Advent is that the coming of Jesus Christ occurs according to the Scriptures, in fulfillment of the prophecy given through Zechariah.

The third message of Advent is that we are prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ by the ministry of his church. That’s why two disciples are sent ahead to prepare the way.
Finally, the fourth lesson is that himself prepares us and is ever present among us, as both Savior and Judge. When he comes into Jerusalem, the crowd sees in him the Royal Messiah. “Hosanna” they cry, “save, we beseech thee”, Save us Lord.” But the same coming of Jesus is to those who were in the temple, where Jesus overturned the tables and proclaimed judgment.

These are therefore the lessons of our four Sundays: the Duty of Preparation, Preparation by the Word, Preparation by the church, and Preparation by Christ himself.

Now, to be fully prepared to welcome the Lord, Paul is giving us today some practical recommendations: “Owe no man any thing, to love one another…Now it is high time to awake out of sleep…the night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light… Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh.

Your King and God and Savior comes to you in meekness. Let this be our prayer today: “Hosanna, Save us Lord, Save us Lord, Save us Lord, Hosanna in the highest.”