First Reading: Jeremiah 33:14–16
Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 3:9–13
Gospel: Luke 19:28–40
Today is the first Sunday of Advent and the first Sunday of the new church year. Advent is a time for us to prepare for the coming of the promised Messiah, and along with Lent has been considered a time of solemn anticipation and repentance. Unfortunately the consumerism that defines the secular observance of the Christmas season has contributed to the decline of Advent even in the Christian church, as all the myriad activities that now define the Christmas season increasingly remove our focus from the spiritual to the material. But let us not overlook Advent! We should not be too quick to get to Christmas, but instead we should allow the Word to guide our preparations; we should allow the Son of God to have His rightful place in the midst of our busyness. The righteous Branch of David springs forth and now we have a new name: “The Lord is our righteousness” (Jer 33:16).