Scriptures for November 29th: Jeremiah 33:14-16, Psalm 25:1- 10, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Luke 21:25-36
Songs: People Look East – UMH 202; Come thou long expected Jesus UMH 196; Lord I want to be a Christian UMH 402
Jeremiah: This is the first Sunday of a brand year, but before we are free to think about a new beginning, we must realize the full effects of the end. In the last weeks, we have gone through the little apocalypse, the medium apocalypse, and today is the big one. All of the scriptures of advent are designed to fit together in a common theme. The theme for this Sunday is unity, and the importance of a tree. Jeremiah is a prophet in a time of destruction for the Hebrew people. And yet he tells them that a branch, a righteous branch will survive and will carry on God’s love to the rest of the world. The other themes of the day are justice and righteousness. God will be fair to those who have remained loyal to what is right?
Luke: It is easy for us to become distracted by Christmas. We can get caught up in what the rest of the world is doing to celebrate. Jesus pulls us aside and reminds us that is not what we are about as God’s people. The events of the day don’t mean what everyone thinks they mean. They mean the Christ is coming back. Christmas is Christ coming back to us to remind us of why we are faithful people. The signs of the times are not an ending, but a beginning. The beginning of Christ’s reign not only in our lives, but in the world.
Questions: What justice is needed in the world today? What does it mean really for us to be righteousness? What role does God have in the process of doing the right thing? What does advent mean to you? What does it mean to have a new beginning of faith? What things in your life do you need to address in order to be right with God? How can you stay alert to God’s presence this advent?