Tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent. We will be starting a new Christian year. Advent mean “the coming” and so in December we will build up to when we celebrate the coming of Jesus on Christmas. One of the favorite 12th century hymns that is frequently sung during Advent is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” We prepare socially by finding presents to bring to beloved friends as the Wise Men did. We fill the air with Christmas carols as the angels did. We think of family as Joseph and Mary had to return to his family roots in Bethlehem because of the census. The birth in a stable reminds us of the plight of refugees looking for shelter at our borders.
This year we look at Christmas through the eyes of Matthew. He does not focus on the traditional nativity scene we see so often enacted. He opens with a genealogy and goes on to talk of Joseph’s situation, the wise men and Herod, and the slaughter of the innocent children. Monday we will start looking at this epic story. We will be laying the Christmas story next to the beloved movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.
Clarence Oddbody, angel 2nd class without wings first reviews the life of George Bailey before he goes to help him. Matthew first reviews the genealogy of Jesus before he jumps into his story. We find hope during Advent as we trace the faithfulness of God to his promises and prophecies. Let’s sing the first verse of the hymn goes like this:
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Tomorrow we light the first candle of the Advent wreath, Blessings as you enter the season and may God’s promises sustain you through the stresses and blessings of this season.