Church of the

7580 Clinton Street
Elma, New York 14059


November 28, 2021

First Sunday of Advent

The words of Jesus in the Gospel according to Luke are ominous. “…on earth nations will be in dismay perplexed by the roaring of the sea and waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” We are living through a tumultuous time: we are facing the pandemic, refugee-migrant humanitarian crisis of people forced from their homes by war, hunger and hopelessness, mistrust of governance and institutions. Many ask what is our world coming to? The pattern of our lives is disrupted. We have lost a sense of stability and security.

But we must listen attentively to the apocalyptic preaching of Jesus. “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory…stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” The message of the prophets, those who speak for God, is both one of judgment and of salvation.

Jeremiah speaks to the Jewish people during the siege of Jerusalem and the beginning of exile into Babylon. In the this extremely dark time in Judah’s history, all seems lost, and it appears God has abandoned his people, but Jeremiah brings a message of hope for all who await the coming of the Lord which will be manifest in the birth of a messiah from the line, family tree, of King David. The city of peace, Jerusalem, will have a new name: “The Lord our Justice.” God will set things right for us.

Our second reading is a letter, the letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians. Like the house of Israel and Judah, the church at Thessalonica, anticipates the coming of the Lord and they are becoming dismayed at the delay of Jesus returning in glory. Paul encourages them not to lose heart but to know and keep the instructions that they have received from Jesus and to abound in love and holiness.

In our Gospel, Jesus instructs his followers not to become numb from carousing, drunkenness, and anxiety, but “be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are immanent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Our Scriptures give us insight into the Season Advent: Jeremiah - keep faith in God’s promises and remain a people of hope; St. Paul – while awaiting the coming of Christ increase in love and in holiness; and Jesus -- pray for strength in tribulation.

Advent is time of waiting and watching for the coming of Christ. The word “wait” beautifully catches the nuance of our anticipation: waiting for someone to come and waiting on others as an expression of loving service. Matt Rawle, pastor and author of “Redemption of Scrooge” comments on the importance of waiting. “The waiting tempers our souls so that we might slow down enough to see God’s blessings around us, to hear the cry of those in need, to reach out our hands to embrace those in need of love, and to hunger and thirst for justice and kindness.”  

As we light the first candle in our Advent Wreath, we pray with the early/ancient church: “Come Lord Jesus Come.”

Christ the King

Second Sunday of Advent


Stewardship is having the wisdom to understand that everything we have is a gift from God.

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