Aren't you a little early with that, pastor?
By the typical calendar year, yes, of course. However, by the liturgical calendar, we wrapped up the year with Christ the King Sunday on November 25th and we begin a new year with the first Sunday of Advent on December 2nd.
Oh, Advent! So we are preparing for Christmas, right?
Well, yes and no. "Advent" comes from the Latin word "advenio," which means "to arrive." Advent is the season of the Church where we focus on the arrival of Christ. And yes, that does mean the arrival of the baby Jesus at Christmas. But it also means the future arrival of Jesus, when he will raise the dead from their graves and bring the Lord's people into the complete Kingdom (or Reign) of God on Earth. At the beginning of Advent, we are more focused on the future arrival of Jesus. As the season goes along, we will shift our focus to the first arrival of Jesus.
Keep this in mind as we take a look at the readings for this upcoming Sunday, December 2nd. While the world around us is charging ahead towards Christmas, our readings this week are more focused on the future arrival of Jesus.
What else do you see within these readings? What questions are you left with? Share your insights and questions in the comments below so that we can continue the conversation!
Jeremiah 33:14 - 16
14 The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: "The LORD is our righteousness."
- Oftentimes in the Old Testament, key ideas or claims will be repeated. This is especially true in Hebrew poetry. However, in this case, the “house of Israel and the house of Judah” are separate entities, reflecting the split in the kingdom after the death of Solomon.
- Interestingly, Jeremiah claims that Judah will be saved and Jerusalem, a city within the borders of Judah, will live in safety. What has happened to Israel? If my timeline is correct, Israel has already been captured by Assyria and no longer exists as an independent nation. Therefore, the pledge to protect and preserve goes to the nation that still exists at the time of the proclamation.