A Reading from the Book of Jeremiah (33:14-16)
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”
> Advent was only added later – 354 AD; Christmas: Dec 25 Rome; Jan 6 Egypt
> A few centuries later in Gaul and Rome, Advent became a time of preparation.
> In the Dark Ages, 40 days of preparation for Christmas was prevalent.
> The the High Middle Ages there were four weeks of Advent – joyful preparation for the second coming of Jesus.
> The colors were sometimes changed to blue to highlight the joyful preparation.
> These verses focus the attention on keeping the Torah and being a Jew.
> These verses were added as a later edition.
> It portrays a coming where Israel will be renewed.
> Some day Israel will be renewed and reunited.
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
my God, I put my trust in you; *
let me not be humiliated,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2 Let none who look to you be put to shame; *
let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
3 Show me your ways, O Lord, *
and teach me your paths.
4 Lead me in your truth and teach me, *
for you are the God of my salvation;
in you have I trusted all the day long.
5 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, *
for they are from everlasting.
6 Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; *
remember me according to your love
and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
7 Gracious and upright is the Lord; *
therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
8 He guides the humble in doing right *
and teaches his way to the lowly.
9 All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness *
to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
> This is an acrostic psalm “A to Z”
> The words do not quite fit together correctly because of the acrostic limitations.
> Verses five and six highlight “three remembers.”
> The last three verses are instructions to the congregation.
A Reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians (3:9-13)
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
> The theme is about the coming of God.
> This is probably the earliest book in the New Testament (51 AD).
> It was written before the Gospels.
> There is a great emphasis on the second coming of Jesus “any day now.”
> Paul sent Timothy to Thessaloniki to see how their faith was sustaining.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (21:25-36)
[Jesus said:] “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
> It was becoming obvious that Jesus was not coming “any day now.”
> (Chapter 7, v. 13 in Daniel): the vision of a man coming in a cloud.
> These verses refer to many Old Testament books – words and phrases.
> The end of the world in the New Testament is very different from the modern apocalyptic thinking.