Happy New Year!

Now you’re probably looking at the calendar and wondering if I have lost my mind, however let me explain.  The season of Advent is the beginning of the Church or the Liturgical Year.  The first Sunday in Advent was New Year’s day so to speak just as Rosh Hashanah is the first day of the Jewish New Year and marks the beginning of the high holy days.  So too Advent starts the beginning of the season of the Holy days, or Holidays that mark the Church Year.

Advent, from Latin adventus “a coming, approach, arrival,” marking that time before the Christmas season, the Christmas season lasting twelve days, during this time the church was to focus on the return of Christ, His second coming, as well as preparing to celebrate His first coming.

Typically there were specific readings for Advent corresponding to the readings in the common lectionary.    However I am going to suggest these readings:  Isaiah 9:2. 6-7; Psalm 122; Isaiah 2:2-5; Romans 13:11-14

Each of these readings reflect hope, for that is what this, the first Sunday in Advent represents:  Hope.  For Israel it was the hope of the coming Messiah.  For the Church it is the hope of the Return of Christ. (1 Peter 1:13, 21).  And the important thing to remember is that this hope isn’t like “I hope Uncle Bob comes for Christmas.” or “I hope Aunt Bess makes that whipped dessert for Christmas dinner.”  There is an element of uncertainty in that because Uncle Bob could not come or Aunt Bess not make the dessert.  Not so with us because Christ did come. he fulfilled Israel’s hope, and he will come again fulfilling the Church’s hope.

So today, light a candle, if that is what you do, read the scripture and think on the coming of Christ our hope.