Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is the season when we prepare with great expectation for the light of the Savior to enter a darkened world. Advent means “coming” and the scripture text for today speaks to the coming of God’s reign through faith and hope in Jesus Christ. Luke 21: 25-36
25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (NIV)
We held our first advent worship service this morning considering the theme “Be Alert!” Our focus was “Hope”. As we considered the theme and focus, we discussed ways to be alert and be prepared. God can use us in many different ways, but it is sure easier if we are ready and waiting for instructions!
Here is a 2013 message from Becky Savage about the Advent Season that combines a Christmas tradition with church mission that encourages us to reach be more invitational.