Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

Advent Sunday

29 Nov 2020, midnight

join us for Advent Sunday worship at https://youtu.be/-zoCiHBa38Y

Readings: Isaiah 64.1-9; Psalm 80.1-8,18-19; 1 Corinthians 1.3-9; Mark 13.24-37

Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the thoughts and meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, o lord, our strength and our Redeemer. Amen

A Word from Lucy: Our readings today are full of prayers. The reading from the prophet Isaiah is a heartfelt prayer. First, Isaiah begs God to come to earth in might and majesty, just like in ancient times, in order to set down the enemies of God’s people. Next, Isaiah confesses that God‘s people have fallen into sin even though they know there is no other God, like their one true God. After this, Isaiah laments that none of God’s people call upon the Lord, that they are unclean in their sins and that God has turned his face from them. Then, in sorrow, Isaiah asks God to remember, verse 8: “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand”. Finally, Isaiah humbly asks God for mercy in verse 9. In the Psalm, we hear prayers that are an echo of the prophet’s prayer. The Psalmist’s heartfelt prayer is a cry to be saved from the contempt of neighbouring nations and for God to come and lead them like a Shepherd. The Psalmist asks God for mercy and restoration of God’s people in verse 19. In contrast, the Epistle is a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the grace, gifts and conviction given by God to the people in Corinth with the petition that God will strengthen them until the end, so that they would be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ with whom they were called into partnership. Paul prays this because he knew about the end of time, something that we learn about today in the Gospel. For, Jesus forewarned about the coming of the Son of Man in great power and glory with the angels to gather in the chosen ones from the four corners of the earth. Jesus said that only the Father knows when this will happen, but whenever it is, it will happen and when it does it will be sudden. So, we must get ready and stay ready, as well as be awake and alert, when Jesus returns. Today, I pray you will hear and believe that Jesus will return and take your place amongst God’s people. A people who pray to God and read the scriptures. A people who listen to God’s call and live as God calls. A people who are loved and chosen by God, even though we sin. A people called to be ready for Jesus return.

Let us pray: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (St Paul’s prayer from the epistle, v3).