True Vine Church

Advent: Week One 2016

2016 Advent Prayer

1st Sunday, November 27, 2016


We light this candle because, like God’s people centuries ago, we look forward with hope to the coming of Christ.

Opening prayer
Lord God, Father of all,
in your Son Jesus Christ
you invite everyone and all to know and love you
and to live in your unending peace.
Keep alive in us the zeal
to bring the light of your truth
and the riches of your life and love to all,
without any distinction
of race, language or culture.
May everyone on earth come to know you
as the merciful Father of all
through our brother and Saviour,
Jesus Christ our Lord.


Gospel Reading: Matthew 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

I have long said that right after Halloween we tent to rush right into Christmas. It seem to me that store all over put up Christmas decorations and some radio stations start paying Christmas music. What happened to Thanksgiving? Is Christmas becoming so commercialized that we are forgetting what Christmas is really all about? This is one of the reasons I like ADVENT. Advent puts the meaning of Christmas right where it should be; centered on the coming/return of Christ.

On the first Sunday Advent, we will light a purple candle that will mark the season of preparation; the celebration of the coming of Christ. Will see familiar scenes around us, such as: the manger, stable in Bethlehem, the shepherds in the field, and the three wise men that surround the Holy Family. Our Advert readings will take on a familiar journey, are we become more and more excited about the coming of the Savior. We are like anxious parents awaiting the birth of their child. Each passing week, we can’t wait until the KING comes.

This is evident in the Gospel reading when Jesus reminds His Disciples that “…the Son of Man will come.” This is an explicit point of preparation, but it is also an implicit point, that we cannot tell or force the coming of the Christ. Just like parents have a good idea when their child is expected to birthed into this world, but on reality, they really don’t know when. If you cannot know when the hour will be, why keep marking time? Have faith in the Lord and live according to His precepts


Reflection questions

  1. Do I have in my life some Good News from God to share with others?


  1. What issue of violence, whether direct, cultural, or structural, challenges you?


  1. Where do you see signs of hope that violence can be overcome?

1st week hope