Readings for the First Sunday in Advent

Mark 13:24-37; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Isaiah 64:1-9

     Advent is upon us – the Church’s time to wake, watch, and wait in preparation for our Savior’s appearance (first, at Christmas, and finally, at the Last Day). Today, time waiting tends to be seen as time wasted. (Really, why wait for December 25th; the stores were playing Christmas music in November. Let’s go already!)

     But waiting is good for us. It’s meant to slow us down and make us think more deeply about where we’re headed and why we’re so eager to get there. Time waiting is never time wasted for God. It is His opportunity to teach and mold us as His people. Sunday’s readings show how God uses waiting (sometimes centuries!) to bring His people to repentance. “Oh that you would rip open the sky and come down…for we have all become like one who is unclean,” (Is 64).

     God also uses waiting to train us to be spiritually alert, not tuned out or distracted by the excesses of our modern Christmas bonanzas, but hungry for our Lord’s return! “Stay awake-for you do not know when the Master of the house will come,” (Mk 13).

     Finally, the apostle Paul assures us that, even as we wait, we “are not lacking in any spiritual gift” and “Christ will sustain you to the end” (1 Cor 1).

     Lord, help us to believe that all our times of waiting in life have a purpose. Prepare our hearts through this Advent season so that we may greet you with joy when you come again. Amen.