1st Sunday of Advent – 2017

Adv1B17.   Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7.  The Hebrews all too often departed from the Lord’s ways.  “Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?”  Isaiah appeals to Yahweh to once again make his presence felt so that he occupies his proper place over his people.  “No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for him.”  To live with God as the God of one’s life leads to great rewards; to live without him, to great destruction.  “Yes, O Lord, you are our father; we the clay and you the potter: we are the work of your hands.”  As in Jeremiah 18:4-6, Isaiah is asking God to remake his people according to his will.  Come be present and active and no longer hide your face from your people.

Mark 13:33-37.  “Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful!  Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.”  “May he not come finding you sleeping.”  To be asleep to the work of our salvation putting that work off to another time leaves us vulnerable to be called unprepared and therefore lost.  Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6: “For all of you are children of the light and children of the day.  We are not of the night or of darkness.  Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.”  To be children of the light and day is to be the father’s children who live daily in the light of his Son’s goodness.  A bit further Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:23: “May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 1:3-9.  I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way,” “so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift.”  The Corinthians were spiritually rich in Christ and so are we so that because we live in him now we shall live in him forever.  “He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  His faithfulness is endless toward those who keep faith in him.  As we live in fellowship with Jesus now, we will live with him forever in heaven.