“And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
Advent Week 1
This offering is taken from an onine advent retreat I’m hositng this year. The recording is the Lectio Divina and reflection but below I also offer the additional lectionary readings for week one. If you’d like to listen to all of the readings you can do so Here
13:24 “But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
13:25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
13:26 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory.
13:27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
13:28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
13:29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
13:30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.
13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
13:32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
13:33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.
13:34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.
13:35 Therefore, keep awake – for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,
13:36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.
13:37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
Week one additional Bible readings for your own time.
64:1 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence–
64:2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil– to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
64:3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
64:4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.
64:5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.
64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
64:7 There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
64:8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
64:9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
80:1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
80:2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!
80:3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
80:4 O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
80:5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.
80:6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.
80:7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
80:17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.
80:18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.
80:19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus,
1:5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind–
1:6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you–
1:7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
There is a law of the cosmos which is also the law of the Christ.
The Cosmos is formed in the truth of the Christ as it has come forth from that same truth.
The truth of the Christ is this…
In all of nature.
Built into every cell of the cosmos.
Cycling through our days and seasons
Death… Life… Death…
Dark… Light… Dark
For us in the Northern Hemisphere we are in the darkness of winter. We see death everywhere.
Bare trees, dead leaves, short days, long nights.
It’s a time of darkness. Stillness. Silence.
December is a holy month. Maybe it is the dark, silky silence that descends so early that speaks to me of reverence. Maybe it is the promise that December holds — that no matter how dark, how cold, how empty it can get, the light is coming back. Something always shifts in me when December arrives — I embrace the darkness, and am eager for the coming solstice when the whole world is still and holds its breath, waiting to be reborn again.
The place where we are held in the dark of the womb.
Held in the dark of winter.
A place were we pray to stay awake and may not miss the coming birth or the coming light.
We walk the path of death that leads to new life and new birth.
We journey through darkness towards light.
Everything about advent teaches us that this darkness like unto death is not the place where God isn’t but the place where God is and where we are held in God’s womb.
As the child in the womb doesn’t know when the birth pains will start, neither do we. But we do know that the birth of new life WILL come. As we wait we wait with hope.
Advent invites for us a time to connect with our deep desire and longing, to connect intentionally with what we’re waiting for.
Where am I being invited to stay awake whilst I wait for new birth?
What longings do I discover as I wait in the stillness of night?
Where in my life do I sense things dying?
Where in my life do I feel the edges of something new?
A little something extra…
The 22nd December marks the shortest day in the calendar of the Northern Hemisphere.
For three days the sun seems to “stand still”. Until…
December 25th which marks a turning point when we gradually begin to move towards the longest day. Light increases. There is more daytime and less night.