First Sunday in Advent: Year A
Old Testament Reading: Lectio Divina
Center yourself in silence. Become still, and aware of God's presence.
Pray: "God, may my spirit be awake to your Spirit as I listen for your Word this day."
Isaiah 2:1-5 (NRSV)
1 The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.
3 Many peoples shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!
Read Isaiah 2:1-5 aloud slowly, simply absorbing the sense and flow of the sacred text.
Read Isaiah 2:1-5 aloud again, slowly. This time, listen in your spirit for a word, phrase or image that catches your attention. You don't have to understand why; simply notice, then make note of, your word, phrase, or image.
As you read Isaiah 2:1-5 a third time, pause when you arrive again at your word, phrase, or image. Ask God, "What is your invitation to me today through this word (or phrase, or image)?" Reflect on the word, phrase, or image you have received, and what God's Spirit is saying to your spirit in this moment.
Respond to God in prayer.
Now, release your own thoughts, plans, and anxieties. Allow your mind, body and spirit to simply rest in God's loving presence. Receive God's grace, and be at peace.
Psalm 122: A Guided Prayer
New Testament Reading: Reflection
Romans 13:11-14 (NRSV)
11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers;
12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light;
13 let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy.
14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Questions for Reflection:
1. In what ways have you been asleep to the work of salvation?
2. Where do you see darkness in the world? Where do you see light?
3. "The day is near . . . put on the armor of light." What does this look like for you?
Gospel Reading: Integration
36 "But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark,
39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.
40Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
41 Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left.
42 Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.
44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
Poem for Reflection:
"We awaken in Christ's body"
by Saint Symeon the New Theologian
English version by Stephen Mitchell
We awaken in Christ's body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ, He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me.
I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
whole, seamless in His Godhood).
I move my foot, and at once
He appears like a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous? - Then
open your heart to Him
and let yourself receive the one
who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
we wake up inside Christ's body
where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utterly, real,
and everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed
and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light
we awaken as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.
-from The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry
O God of Light,
the darkness is deep,
and the night is long,
but your salvation
breaks like the dawn.
to your presence, Lord;
clothe us in light and love,
that the world's people might find in us
the unexpected gift of your peace
already among them.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Center for Ministry
1701 N. State Street
Jackson, MS 39210