Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away
the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Now is the time of this mortal life in which your Son,
Jesus Christ came to live among us in great humility.
That in the last day, when he shall return in his
glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead,
we may also rise to a life filled with love everlasting.
And so, on this first Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of Hope.
For Christ who lives and reigns
with the Father and the Holy Ghost,
one God, now and forever.
(Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer)
We invite you to hear from the reading Paul’s letter
to the Romans, Chapter 13:11-12.
11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is
now the moment for you to wake from sleep.
For salvation is nearer to us now
than when we became believers;
12 the night is far gone, the day is near.
Let us then lay aside the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!
The Good News of Christ. Praise be to you, O Christ!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Sermon and Reflection
How can you rest in knowing that your awakening will find you in time without your own willpower?
What parts of you are being made whole in this season of Advent?
Sometimes we don’t realize just how thirsty
we are until we take that first drink.
Hope comes in small doses,
in sips of water and drizzling rain.
It breaks through like the sun through the clouds,
or the first breath of fall after a long hot summer.
Hope doesn’t often come in big grand gestures.
It is just a taste, a reminder, like the King of Narnia,
“Aslan is on the move.”
We are stirring and wakening. And that long
dormant promise, that hope of the world to come;
It wasn’t something that you dreamed while asleep.
It is the hand of God moving us from death to life.
May we leave these four walls
with a new hope flowing through us.
In the name of the One who
and will come again.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Matt.Bower @ Flickr]