Readings for the First Sunday in Advent
Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36
One of the ways that Christians prepare to celebrate the first coming of Jesus at Christmas is by also giving heed to his second and final coming. Talking about the end of the world during “the holidays” puts us out of step with our wider culture, but it is essential to our understanding of Jesus. His humble birth in a Bethlehem stable is only shocking and beautiful because we know this child to be our strong and glorious King… and our Judge. All three readings for Sunday have to do with the return of Christ in glory to judge the living and the dead.
Jesus warned his disciples to stay spiritually sharp and prayerful in a world that offers all sorts of ways to dull and deaden our senses. The signs of earth’s demise are clear to those with eyes to see and faith to interpret them correctly. The Kingdom of God is drawing ever more near (Lk 21)!
Paul thanks God for the faith-filled Thessalonians upon hearing a report of them from his friend, Timothy. He also offers a blessing that God would keep their love strong for one another and prepared for Jesus’ coming (1Thess 3).
The prophet Jeremiah foretold a day when the LORD would send a righteous King to secure His people for eternity. His righteousness would guarantee their salvation. This prophecy was fulfilled at the coming of Christ (Jer 33).