1st Sunday in Advent: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44 ~ suddenly… out of Zion

THE SEASON OF ADVENT: please see resources below.

Advent is the traditional season of preparation for the coming of Jesus. It’s a time to prepare for Christmas – when Jesus first came into the world, in humility, as a baby. And, it’s also a time of longing for Jesus’ second coming, in glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords. We don’t know when that will be. But the Bible says, “Be prepared! It could happen at any time.”

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

1st candle

Opening sentence:

Lord Jesus, Prepare my heart to welcome You as the Season of Advent unfolds. Keep my mind focused on the miracle of Your presence within me. Quiet my spirit so that I can find rest and comfort in You. And make me a person of prayer, especially for those You place in my path. Give me a spirit of expectation and longing for Your coming Kingdom as I enter into Your presence today. May I worship You in Spirit and in Truth. Amen.

A Reading from the Old Testament: Isaiah 2:1-5 (NLT)

This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all — the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.

Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 122 (NLT)

I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
And now here we are,
standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is a well-built city;
its seamless walls cannot be breached.
All the tribes of Israel—the Lord’s people—
make their pilgrimage here.
They come to give thanks to the name of the Lord,
as the law requires of Israel.
Here stand the thrones where judgment is given,
the thrones of the dynasty of David.

Pray for peace in Jerusalem.
May all who love this city prosper.
O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls
and prosperity in your palaces.
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say,
“May you have peace.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.

A Reading from the Paul’s Letter to the Church in Rome: Romans 13:11-14 (NLT)

This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 24:36-44 (NLT)

“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.

“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.

“Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.

“So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”


Gracious God, my Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your kindness and love for me… sending Your Son to live among us, sending Your Spirit to dwell within me… and filling me with the confident hope that one day all will be made right when Jesus comes again in glory. Hear my prayers today as I approach You, in all the humility that I can muster, on behalf of Your people:

+ Fill Your people with a spirit of preparation and expectation… for Jesus’ return in glory as King of kings and Lord of lords.

+ Give us a spirit of welcome and hospitality… as we invite the Living Lord into our present lives.

+ Fill us with a spirit of hope… even in these dark and dreary days and break our bondage, our resignation, to the way things are – so that we can focus our attention to the way things will be when Your Kingdom comes in all its fulness.

+ Give us a spirit of excitement… the night is almost over, it will soon be light, our salvation is near.

+ Fill us with a spirit of courage… to choose Christ, whose light alone can lead us into a future of his making?

+ Give us a spirit of boldness… to share the vision of Kingdom come – to a world threatened by the violence of war, a world grown accustomed to infidelity, a world trapped in its own indifference.

+ Fill us with a spirit of adventure… to abandon the past, and to begin a journey into the future You have prepared for us.

During this Advent season I welcome You, Lord Jesus, into my life and daily routine. You alone can transform my broken hopes and heal my forgotten hurts. You alone can bring peace to my sinful life. You alone can fill my life with the joy of worship: “I rejoiced when I heard them say: Let us go to God’s house!” Amen.

Hymn: O Come, Emmanuel – The Piano Guys

O come, O come, Emmanuel / And ransom captive Israel / That mourns in lonely exile here / Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel / Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free / Thine own from Satan’s tyranny / From depths of Hell Thy people save / And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel / Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer / Our spirits by Thine advent here / Disperse the gloomy clouds of night / And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel / Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come, / And open wide our heavenly home; / Make safe the way that leads on high, / And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel / Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might, / Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height, / In ancient times did’st give the Law, / In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel / Shall come to thee, O Israel.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen



+ Online Advent Calendar – US Catholic Conference of Bishops

+ Online Advent Calendar for Adults – Loyola Press

+ Busted Halo’s Surprise Advent Calendar

+ 2013 Advent Devotion Apps, eBooks and More! | ChurchMag

Categories: Life in Christ

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1 reply

  1. Great post, Art, and including the Piano Guys is always a welcome sight.


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