Welcome to this online guide to Advent (Year B). Advent: a time of longing, waiting and preparation. Adventus is the Latin word for coming and so Advent is the season in which we prepare for and long for the coming of God among us, for the coming of the kingdom. This year, maybe more than most, many of us are longing for the coming of the renewing and restoring God into our world of trouble and pain.
This Advent resource is intended to take you through the season by reflecting on the Sunday readings that the Revised Common Lectionary set for us. Each of four days we reflect on one reading and then on the fifth day we reflect on the theme of the week as a whole. There is also a discussion guide for those who want to study in a group or who might like to journal their response to the reflections. The course is designed this way so that preachers, leaders of worship, and the devout may enter more fully into the liturgical season.
Week One calls us to Awaken, or to Stay Awake. The language of that call in Year B is particular arresting – heavens torn open, mountains quaking, brushwood afire. But in Isaiah these images are not exclusively threats of judgment (although that resonance is there too) but the prophet’s desire that the Divine make God’s own self known in the dramatic ways of old. We have this week images of disturbance and upheaval that lead to renewal and restoration.
Week Two brings the Beginning of the Good News as we hear and see words and images of the herald of the coming of the royal messenger. If week one brought news of challenge then week two brings news of comfort.
Week Three then begins to require work of us as we Prepare a space within, a way through our hearts into our lives and our community, so that the Christ can find a place to dwell.
And Week Four at long last we hear stories we associate with Christmas – Luke’s account of The Annunciation reminds us that we are all to be bearers of God in our world.
Please note that this was first published in 2020 during the worst of the pandemic, which sadly remains a source of suffering, but other world issues add to our concerns now.
I also apologise for a numerical error on the first day of the study - it is in fact Isaiah 64 (not 65). I have commented on the correct text but the wrong chapter number.
Yours humbly, Reverend Sue