Service of Holy Communion
First Sunday in Advent
PREACHER & PRESIDER: Rev. Dr. Mark Bartusch
Advent is about the “coming days.” God’s people have always lived in great expectation, but that expectation finds specific, repeated enunciation in the texts appointed for these four weeks. The ancients anticipated a “righteous Branch to spring up for David.” The Thessalonians awaited “the coming of our Lord Jesus with all the saints.” Our Lord’s contemporaries hoped for the time “to stand before the Son of Man.” With them we eagerly await the coming days: another Christmas celebration, a second coming, and the advent of our Lord in word and supper.
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection alert us to the threatening dangers of our sins, and redeem us for your life of justice, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
God will fulfill God’s purposes and, already, hidden signs of that fulfillment abound. On that great day there will be dismay, perplexity, confusion, and terror, but God’s people shall be given strength to stand boldly and receive God’s promised redemption.
will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress
among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26People will faint from fear
and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens
will be shaken. 27Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with
power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and
raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
29Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
34“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, 35like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Agnus Day is a weekly cartoon drawn by Pr. James Wetzstein, usually based on Sunday's gospel reading. It is updated on this site on Wednesdays.