Devotion for the First Sunday of Advent, Year B (ILCW Lectionary)   1 comment

Above:  Icon of the Second Coming of Jesus

Image in the Public Domain

Faithfulness, Divine and Human

DECEMBER 3, 2023

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

According to the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship (ILCW) Lectionary (1973), as contained in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) and Lutheran Worship (1982)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Isaiah 63:16b-17; 64:1-8

Psalm 80:1-7 (LBW) or Psalm 98 (LW)

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:33-37 or Mark 11:1-10

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Stir up your power, O Lord, and come.

Protect us by your strength and

save us from the threatening dangers of our sins,

for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and forever.  Amen.

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 13

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Stir up, we implore you, your power, O Lord, 

and come that by your protection

we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins

and be saved by your mighty deliverance;

for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Lutheran Worship (1982), 10

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

These assigned readings, taken together, portray God as being faithful and fearful–not a warm fuzzy.  Divine judgment and mercy remain in balance.

  1. Isaiah 63:16b-17 and 64:1-8 come from Third Isaiah, from the time in which Jewish Exiles had begun to return to their ancestral homeland.  The text indicates great disillusionment as well as the confession that Judea did not live up to long-held expectations of a verdant, fertile paradise.  Yet consider, O reader, that God had ended the Babylonian Exile.
  2. Psalms 80 and 98 have different tones.  Psalm 80 fits tonally with the lesson from Isaiah.  Yet Psalm 98 has a triumphant, celebratory tone.
  3. The pleasant tone of the introduction of St. Paul the Apostle’s First (really Second) Epistle to the Corinthians belies the corrective tone that commences in 1:10. The focus on the faithfulness of God in the introduction meshes with the other readings.
  4. Assigning the account of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on the First Sunday of Advent is a tradition in lectionaries of the Lutheran and Moravian churches.  The faithfulness of God exists in the flesh in the reading.
  5. Mark 13:33-37 reminds us that God is faithful, so we need to be faithful, too.

I do not fixate on the Second Coming of Jesus, for I know too much about the tradition of failed expectations and specific dates to play that game.  Also, I affirm that God will attend to all matters of the Second Coming.  Meanwhile, feeding hungry people and working for righteousness/social justice is a better use of time than attending any prophecy conference or reading any book about prophecy.  Besides, much of the content to the interpretation of prophecy is dubious, as the passage of time proves.  And righteousness is right relationship with God, self, others, and all creation.  Biblically, righteousness and justice are interchangeable.  Certainly, working for righteousness is more important than guessing the identity of the Antichrist.

The early part of Advent is about the Second Coming of Jesus.  The latter part is about the First Coming of Jesus.  Much of the challenge of Advent is not to become distracted by the busyness of December, with all its shopping, advertising, materialism, and parties.  These distract–or can distract–one from simple, quiet faithfulness to God, who is faithful.  God may not always act according to our expectations.  That is our problem, not God’s.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 27, 2023 COMMON ERA

THE SIXTH DAY OF LENT

THE FEAST OF NICHOLAR FERRAR, ANGLICAN DEACON AND FOUNDER OF LITTLE GIDDING; GEORGE HERBERT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND METAPHYSICAL POET; AND ALL SAINTLY PRIESTS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ANNE LINE AND ROGER FILCOCK, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1601

THE FEAST OF FRED ROGERS, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HOST OF MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD

THE FEAST OF SAINT GABRIEL POSSENTI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PENITENT

THE FEAST OF MARIAN ANDERSON, AFRICAN-AMERICAN SINGER AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT RAPHAEL OF BROOKLYN, SYRIAN-AMERICAN RUSSIAN ORTHODOX BISHOP OF BROOKLYN

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Link to the corresponding post at BLOGA THEOLOGICA

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Advertisement

One response to “Devotion for the First Sunday of Advent, Year B (ILCW Lectionary)

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: Faithfulness, Divine and Human | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: