First Sunday in Advent
3 December 2006
Today is the first day of the new church year (or liturgical year) in the West (Sept. 1 in the East). The Gospel Reading, Matthew 21:1-9, reminds us of the humble King's entrance into Jerusalem to the shouts of "Hosanna." The year begins with Jesus walking to the cross and God's redemption for the fallen world. Advent leads us toward the Incarnation - "God with us", who comes into Jerusalem to die, who rises from the dead and ascends into heaven. He reigns in heaven and on earth He comes to us in the flesh, in His Body and Blood, for the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. To this coming we sing "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Hosannas" to the Lord in the Sanctus. Your King comes to you. He is coming again to judge the living and the dead. Your King comes to you humble and hidden in the liturgy and for all the
world to see in His glorious coming on the Last Day. In Holy Baptism you were clothed in His righteousness and made an heir of His royal inheritance. Advent reminds us that He is preparing us for His coming just as He comes again to us each Lord's Day. In the liturgy He dispenses life to us through His death and the hope of glory through His resurrection. In the liturgy He is with us and His Bride, the Church throughout the world, the Church of all ages who receives her Bridegroom, the King, as she always has and always will, living by faith that He is with us to the end of the age. The historic liturgy is a daily reminder that, though heaven and earth pass away, His words will never pass away.