Malankara World

Advent - Week 1 - Waiting for the Savior

Advent Week 1 Candle

Advent Reflections for December 2

Advent Reflections for December 2

Week 1: First Sunday of Advent

Opening Prayer

Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.

Prayer for the Advent Wreath

Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Savior of us all.
O Lord,
let your blessing come upon us as we light the first (purple) candle of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise of salvation.
May He come quickly and not delay.
We ask this in His holy name. Amen.


We light a candle today, a small dim light against a world that often seems forbidding and dark. But we light it because we are a people of hope, a people whose faith is marked by an expectation that we should always be ready for the coming of the Master. The joy and anticipation of this season is captured beautifully in the antiphons of hope from the monastic liturgies:

See! The ruler of the earth shall come, the Lord who will take from us the heavy burden of our exile
The Lord will come soon, will not delay.
The Lord will make the darkest places bright.
We must capture that urgency today in the small flame of our candle. We light the candle because we know that the coming of Christ is tied to our building of the kingdom. Lighting the flame, feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, reconciling the divided, praying for the repentant, greeting the lonely and forgotten – doing all these works hastens His coming.

Gospel Reading and Reflection:

[Editor's Note:

The Gospel Reading for Orthodox Church is Luke 1:39-56. You can reflect on that passage, if you prefer. Refer to Malankara World Journal Issue: 111.

In the western system, the first two sundays of Advent looks at the Second Coming of the Savior. The Gospel Reading is from Lk. 21:25-28, 34-36.

Refer to the Sermons given in the general section for week 1.]

Gospel: Luke 21:25-28,34-36

25 "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
26 men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
34 "But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare;
35 for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.
36 But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man."

'Radical Perseverance'

In today's reading, Jesus talks about the coming of the Son of God, the end of the world, and the great judgment.

The whole point of Advent is to help nudge us out of a kind of apathy as we go about our day to day things, while forgetting that life is going to end for us individually.

Sometimes we forget that the whole point of everything we do is to lead the world toward the kingdom of God.

The kingdom may be millions of years away – who knows? It seems so distant that there would be a world at long last transformed where there is no war, no sickness, no tears, no fights, and no arguments – a perfect world.

It's a long haul.

That's why I need what some call a "radical perseverance". It's hard to have. To persevere and try to build peace in the world and know that when I die, there will still be war. To persevere and try to build love in society and know that it is a seed planted, but one I'll never see the harvest of in a lifetime. To persevere in trying to shape myself into the kind of person I know God made me to be…and to realize that I will never be that person until some day God wonderfully transforms me through death.

That kind of radical perseverance – sustaining a conscious effort and hope even though I'm not going to reach the goal in my lifetime – that's the kind of perseverance I need to have.

See Also:

Next Day (December 3) | Previous Day (December 1)

Advent Week 1

Malankara World Advent Supplement

Malankara World Christmas Supplement

MW Advent Supplement | MW Christmas Supplement | Sermons Home | Malankara World Journal | Library - Home

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