Part 1 of a hoped for weekly series of commentaries
on the daily reading for Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary. The readings for the First Week of Advent are reprinted from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings
, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts
Pre-Sunday Psalm: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
First Sunday of Advent
|OT||Zechariah 13:1-9||Zechariah 14:1-9||Micah 2:1-13|
|NT||Revelation 14:6-13||1 Thessalonians 4:1-18||Matthew 24:15-31|
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Post-Sunday Psalm: Psalm 79
|OT||Micah 4:1-5||Micah 4:6-13||Micah 5:1-5a|
|NT||Revelation 15:1-8||Revelation 18:1-10||Luke 21:34-38|
Unlike most weeks where the Psalm passages are supportive of the other readings, this week they are the core of the message for this first week of Advent. The two psalms are a call for deliverance and other readings are largely from the apocalyptic portions of the Bible that describe how that deliverance will come at the end of days. Yet not all is gloom and doom, for some concern the first coming of Christ that is what is celebrated in this season of Advent.Micah 5:2-5a (NRSV)
But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth;
and he shall be the one of peace.
The cry goes forth twice in Psalm 80: "Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved." Yet in a real sense, it is not that his face does not shine upon us, but that we have shut our eyes to the light and then had the audacity to curse the darkness when we stub our toes. The call to fellowship mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:9 has always been there, even before Jesus came to enunciate it more clearly that it might penetrate the ears we have stopped up.