Advent: Second Sunday
In the Second Sunday of Advent our preparation for the coming of Jesus takes on a slightly different angle than the one last week. We move from considering Jesus’ own teaching on his second advent at the end of Mark’s gospel to the preaching of John the Baptist at the very beginning of Mark’s gospel.
At worship this Sunday, we will light the second candle on the Advent wreath and watch the light grow. Our Scripture lessons will focus on the prophets who told of the coming Messiah, especially John the Baptist. This special prophet was one who the prophet Isaiah said would prepare the way of the Lord. John the Baptist came preaching a sharp message of repentance, of being ready and prepared, and of turning to the Lord God and expecting his salvation. John the Baptist is one of the main characters in Advent as prepare to walk toward the manger in Bethlehem. His message of repentance and preparation is one of the main themes of this glorious season and so very pertinent for us today.
Notice the Collect for the Second Sunday of Advent:
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
While the culture around us is preoccupied with the frenzy of consumerism, we are called by God to attentiveness, listening, forsaking of sins, and repentance so that our celebration of Christmas and our meeting the Lord in the last day will be a joyous occasion.
May God the Father, strengthen us to prepare the way for the coming of Christ into our lives, our community, and this world.
Liturgy for the Sundays of Advent:
The First Sunday: The Last Days – Jesus tells us not even he knows the day or hour
The Second Sunday: John the Baptist – we learn about his special ministry calling people to repentance
The Third Sunday: John the Baptist – recognizes that he is not the Christ
The Fourth Sunday: The Annunciation – Gabriel reveals to Mary that the glory of the most high will overshadow her
Robert E. Webber, Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004).
Lawrence Hull Stookey, Calendar: Christ’s Time for the Church (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996).
Family Worship Resources:
Robert E. Webber, The Book of Family Prayer (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1996).
Gertrud Mueller Nelson, To Dance with God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration (New York: Paulist, 1986).
The Book of Common Prayer