Advent! The name conjures ancient and traditional images of candles… wreaths…and anticipation…of the coming Nativity…but, more importantly, of Christ’s Second Coming. Over the centuries, the Church has developed a specially-focused spirituality for Christians during Advent, to help them examine themselves in light of St. Matthew 24:43-45, which speaks about being ready for the Lord’s return. To this end, our seasonal Sunday liturgies and daily Scripture devotions have been designed to guide our Advent journey into a deeper experience of the mystery of Christ, with special appreciation for how He came to us—and for what purpose. Not surprisingly, then, our Fathers in the Faith have chosen Scriptures accenting three Advents: the Advent of Christ's physical birth in Bethlehem, the Advent of Christ coming into our own lives, and the Advent of his Second Coming at the history’s end. This discipline of liturgy, daily reading, and contemplative, Spirit-led prayer in this season of anticipation calls us to a personal encounter with the living person of Jesus and His purpose for our lives, as we invoke the help and presence of the Holy Ghost. Consequently, when the Spirit edifies us through these added devotions, it will be helpful for us to think about how we should journey and grow through the season—and to ask ourselves—if the Lord were to come today, would he find us ready to meet Him? Maranatha—come quickly, Lord!
Collect for the 1st 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.
Posted on December 1, 2014
by Fr. Chip Harper filed under