December 1st, 2019 – First Sunday in Advent

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44


THE SEASON of Advent which begins today marks both the beginning of a new year in the Church calendar, but also a season of preparation for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Advent collect describes how Jesus came to us in great humility. He was born of a woman and laid in a manger. God in the flesh! This is what we will celebrate at Christmas. Over the course of this coming year we will seek to grow in our response to the Incarnation by learning to love more deeply the world Jesus came to redeem.

But the coming of Christ is not simply to be understood as something in that occurred once in the past. He comes to us here and now in and through His Holy Spirit, who draws us into union with God and with each other, and so in Advent we renew our intention to live as members of the Body of Christ with peace and joy and all the gifts and fruits of the Spirit!

The coming of Christ also has a future aspect, as we declare in our Creed, “He will come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead.” Advent teaches us to look forward with hope and expectation to that day when “we shall rise to the life immortal” in the new heaven and the new earth where God will be all in all. As we look forward to the Advent of Gods kingdom, we seek to live now as worthy citizens of that kingdom. 

The colour of Advent is purple, representing penitence, hope, and expectation, with which we prepare for Jesus ‘coming. As John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord by calling people to repentance, so Advent is a natural time to renew our spiritual lives through the practice of prayer, stillness, meditation, and confession.

May God bless you all in this Holy season, and throughout the coming church year.

Yours faithfully,

Claude +