Sunday, December 1, 2013 - First Sunday of Advent
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2013
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Advent is one of my favorite celebrations on the Liturgical Calendar. Even growing up in a "mainline" Baptist Church in the 1950's Advent's time had not yet come into full recognition. It wasn't until the early 1970's when Lamar and I joined First Baptist that it became a special time.
It is the time to start over in our observances. As I told my children's choir once as we were learning an Advent song, there is a reason why we mark the days of Advent. It is like a woman who, when she learns she is expecting, begins a time of preparation. After hearing the news time is needed to let it sink in. Then during this time of exciting expectation she thinks about a name, how the nursery will look, what an enormous responsibility raising a child can be and what kind of mother she will be. In short, there are many things to consider during this preparation.
Just as we anticipate and prepare for the birth of our children, so should we use this Advent season to think and prepare for Christ's birth and what it means in our lives, the universal church, and the entire world. This is the beginning of an awesome and blessed union with God through God's son. We should pray for ways that our hearts and minds might be opened to receive Christ again, new ways to be His servants, and the resolve to live out the message of Psalm 72 as written in one of the beautiful Advent hymns, "Hail to the Lord's Anointed."
Hail to the Lord's Anointed, Great David's greater Son.
Hail, in the time appointed His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free;
To take away transgression, and rule in equity.
He comes with succor speedy to those who suffer wrong,
To help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in His sight.
He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth,
And love, joy, hope like flowers, spring in His path to birth:
Before Him on the mountains shall peace, the herald go;
And righteousness in fountains from hill to valley flow.
- Sarah Davis