Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the first day of the liturgical year when we begin that wonderful journey towards the celebration of the birth of Christ and that hoped for future world in which all of God’s creation will be reconciled, renew and made whole.
Tomorrow I will begin sharing the posts that I have received reflecting on What Are We Waiting for this Advent Season? but today I wanted to share the gospel reading for today from the daily readings in the Book of Common Prayer. I love the way it is worded here in the New Living Translation. It seemed a very appropriate start to our Advent series.
Luke 21: 5 – 19
Jesus Foretells the Future
5 Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, 6 “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?”
8 He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. 9 And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.
12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.14 So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! 16Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win your souls.