The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, December 1, 2019 - First Sunday of Advent
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)
Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44
It is with great irony that on the very week that we begin our Advent countdown to Jesus’ birth, Isaiah proclaims that we have no idea when the Prince of Peace will come. The deep longing for peace echoes as surely in our twenty-first–century world as it did in Isaiah’s time. Through our liturgy, we must communicate that traditional Christmas preparations are not enough. If we truly want to receive with joy the long-awaited Prince of Peace, the one who comes at an unexpected hour, we must accept the invitation to walk expectantly in the light of the Lord, each and every day of our lives.
First Sunday of Advent
Opening Prayer (Isaiah 2, Romans 13)
When, O God, will the day of peace come? When will the nations stream to your holy mountain and beat their swords into plowshares? When will the long night of war and hatred, give way to the dawn of love, righteousness, and joy? We are ready for the dawn, O God. Shine your light into our world, mighty One of peace. Illuminate the path, and give us the wisdom and courage to follow your light. We pray in the name of the Prince of Peace. Amen.
The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your 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 living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
God of Amazing Surprises, we are rushing headlong into this season of buying, giving, greed, and struggle. We want to think of the holiday as delightful, but we have a tendency to make it a time of the highest stress. We over-schedule our time, overdraw our resources, ignore those moments in which we could just relax and have quiet time with our families and with you. We blame it on everything else but our own decision making. We speak of obligations, of the need to be constantly busy, of the pressure to purchase things to make people happy. The reality is that your love should be our foundation, the base from which we celebrate. Our watchfulness is not necessarily about what is to happen, but rather should be on the ways in which we order our lives, ways that block out your love and your healing power. Forgive us for our stubborn insistence on maintaining schedule rather than focusing on your love. Heal us. Strengthen us and make us watchful over our faith in you. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Words of Assurance
Watch! Wait! God is bringing to you new hope and peace. It is a gift, given especially for you--one that you cannot earn—it’s a gift. Praise be to the Giver of All Great Gifts, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of the Day
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection save us from the threatening dangers of our sins, and enlighten our walk in the way of your salvation, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
(War transformed into peace)
The Future House of God
2:1 The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
3 Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
Judgment Pronounced on Arrogance
5 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!
(Gladness in God’s house)
Song of Praise and Prayer for Jerusalem
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1 I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
2 Our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together.
4 To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers.”
8 For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
(Salvation is near; wake from sleep)
An Urgent Appeal
13:11 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; 13 let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Alleluia. Show us your steadfast love, O LORD,and grant us your salvation. Alleluia. (Psalm 85:7)
(The sudden coming of salvation)
The Necessity for Watchfulness
24:36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. 42 Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
Here ends the Lessons
Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Lord, thank you that we are a family in Christ. Help us to share his love and legacy with everyone that we encounter this week. May we lavish Christ’s abounding goodness upon our families, friends and colleagues. Holy Spirit, come and equip us in our workplace, guide us in our school life, and inspire us in our neighbourhood. May we be your hands and feet to the needy, your words of affirmation to the oppressed and your arms of comfort to the lonely.Thank you for choosing to use us to bring your kingdom here on earth.Amen.
Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]
The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, December 1, 2019 - First Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44