The First Sunday of Advent — 27 December

Antiphon: Keep awake . . . for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.


"Keep awake!" (Matt. 26.42)
Vincent van Gogh The Siesta (after Millet) (c.1890). Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

Advent, by Sarah Klassen

We are waiting (again) for the One
who has already come
and gone, leaving us

One waiting in the wings
for the cue — political, apocalyptic
or dramatic — to step into view,

be finally revealed
to the bewildered crowd —
complicit or without guile.
And to a remnant, impatient

for the curtain to rise on some
anticipated vindication. As if
flamboyant entry to a final act
will finally untangle everything:

a flawless denouement. As if
(if you’re not left behind)
a book will open up,
page after blinding page.

A prophet’s alleged to have said:
we cannot believe in one for whom -
for reasons philosophical,
emotional or rational —

we do not
will not any longer)
— from ‘A Prairie Credo’, in Poetry as Liturgy: An Anthology by Canadian Poets, edited by Margo Swiss. Toronto: St Thomas Poetry Series, 2007.

Isaiah 2.1-5

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

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.
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.
He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Psalm 122

I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’
Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem—built as a city, that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there the thrones for judgement were set up, the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.’
For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God: I will seek your good.

Romans 13:9-14

The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

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; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Matthew 24:36-44

‘But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 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, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 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. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Advent: Make Something Beautiful from SALT Project.

Ukranian carol: Добрий вечір тобі пане господарю [Dobryj vechir tobi pane hospodaryu] = Good evening, Mr Host.. Sung by Піккардійська терція = Pikkardiyska Tertsiya.

Dobryi vechir tobi, pane hospodariu.
Raduisia! Oi raduisia, zemle,
Syn Bozhyi narodyvsia!
Zasteliaite stoly ta vse kylymamy,
Tai kladit kalachi z yaroi pshenytsi
Bo pryidut do tebe try praznyky v hosti:
Oi shcho pershyi praznyk – Rozhdestvo Khrystove,
A druhyi vzhe praznyk – Sviatoho Vasylia,
A tretii vzhe praznyk – Sviate Vodokhreshcha.

Good evening to you, good host
Rejoice! Oh rejoice earth,
The Son of God is born!
Lay tapestries on your tables,
And place cakes from spring wheat
Because three holidays will come visit you
And the first holiday is the birth of Christ
And the second holiday is St.Basil’s day
And the third holiday is Holy Epiphany

May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.

St Philip's Anglican Church, corner Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602
Prepared by Dr Brian McKinlay