Sunday, December 1, 2013: “Today’s Scripture Readings”



> No one knows the exact date when Jesus was born.

> Feast of the Unconquered Son — Roman Holiday

> Feast of the Light — Egyptian Holiday

> 4th to 5th century in France and Spain — became preparation for Christmas

> Was initially a service of repentance

> Advent is now a joyful celebration.


Isaiah (2:1-5)


The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  In days to come the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills;

all the nations shall stream to it.  Many peoples shall come and say, ”Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples;  they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;  nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!


 > Micah (4:1-3) – similar verses — do not know which came first

> Vision of the future

> Joel (3:10) – uses the image of plowshare in reverse



Psalm 122


1 I was glad when they said to me, *

“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

2 Now our feet are standing *

within your gates, O Jerusalem.

3 Jerusalem is built as a city *

that is at unity with itself;

4 To which the tribes go up,

the tribes of the LORD, *

the assembly of Israel,

to praise the Name of the LORD.

5 For there are the thrones of judgment, *

the thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: *

“May they prosper who love you.

7 Peace be within your walls *

and quietness within your towers.

8 For my brethren and companions’ sake, *

I pray for your prosperity.

9 Because of the house of the LORD our God, *

I will seek to do you good.”


> Ties into the idea of “going up” into Jerusalem

> Three separate references to Jerusalem

> Just judgment is carried out in Jerusalem.

> Picture of the future to come together in Jerusalem



Romans (13:11-14)


You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.


> Looking for the second coming of Christ

> This is the focus of the first Sunday of Advent.

> Paul had not yet visited Rome when he wrote this letter.

> This was a letter of introduction.

> Jesus is still coming any day now!

> Live properly because Jesus is coming soon!



Matthew (24:36-44)


Jesus said to the disciples, “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”


> Idea of the return of the Son of Man in their lifetimes

> Jesus tells the disciples that no one knows the hour of his coming.

> Even Jesus does not know which demonstrates inequality in the Holy Trinity.

> The King James version of the Bible drops the term “nor the Son.”

> No one will know when the Son of Man will come.

> Some will be rescued and some will not.

> The idea of the thief coming is also used in Thessalonians.

> The first Sunday of Advent focuses on Jesus’ second coming.