1st Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Scripture Readings*: Jeremiah 33:14-16, I Thessalonians 3:9-13, Luke 31:25-36, Psalm 25:1-9 (NRSV)
Jeremiah’s words are written to individuals living in exile. Their lives were in disorder. Anguish, desolation, and uncertainty were a real part of their world. He reminds them that Yahweh would raise up the legitimate successor to the throne: The LORD our righteousness.
Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians reminds them of his deep love and joy because of their growth in grace. Like Jeremiah’s audience, they too were living in adverse times.
Jesus’ words, according to the gospel of Luke, are an apocalyptic portrayal of what seems to be happening in our own world.
The Advent readings for this week remind us to look up, be mindful and alert, and to be prayerful… for the LORD our righteousness is coming!
Celebrate: Light Your Home With An Advent Wreath
This week, we pray for “grace to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” It’s amazing how much hope a little light can produce! The words of Jeremiah gave a glimmer of hope to those living in darkness and desolation. In our own homes and hearts, we can shine the light of Christ and the hope of His coming throughout this season of Advent.
Since the Middle Ages, Christians have used Advent wreaths as part of their spiritual preparation for Christmas. The evergreens and circular shape of the wreath represent the everlasting, unending love of God. The four candles mark the progression of the four weeks in Advent and the growth of light. Traditionally, three candles are purple and one is pink. The first purple candle represents hope, the second purple candle signifies love, the third pink candle stands for joy, and the fourth purple candle symbolizes peace.
Make your own Advent wreath and use it in your home as a center of prayer and reflection. Simply place an evergreen wreath on your dining table and use four candlesticks to hold the four candles of Advent. Some families choose to decorate their wreaths with dried flowers or fruit, so go ahead – be creative! Each week, light the corresponding candle during dinner, reflecting on the light of Christ and his gifts of hope, love, joy, and peace. On Christmas Day, light all four candles, celebrating the Light of the World.
Prayer when lighting the first candle of the Advent wreath – “God of light, your hope illuminates the darkness of our world. You call us to walk in your light, casting off the works of darkness. Fill our home and hearts with the light of Christ. Help us reflect the hope found in Him to a world waiting for His appearing. Blessed be God forever. Amen.”
*Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary, Year C