First Sunday of Advent
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.
And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.
God, has spoken * and called the world, from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof.
Out of Zion, perfect in her beauty, * has God shone forth in glory.
Our God shall come and shall not keep silence; * there shall go before him a consuming fire, and a mighty tempest shall be stirred up round about him.
He shall call to the heavens above * and to the earth beneath, that he may judge his people:
“Gather my faithful together unto me, * those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens shall declare his righteousness, * for God himself is Judge.
“Hear, O my people, and I will speak; * I myself will testify against you, O Israel, for I am God, even your God.
I will not rebuke you because of your sacrifices, or for your burnt offerings, * because they are always before me.
I will take no bull calf out of your house, * nor he-goat out of your folds;
For all the beasts of the forest are mine, * and so are the cattle upon a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the air, * and the wild beasts of the field are in my sight.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you, * for the whole world is mine, and all that is therein.
Do you think that I will eat the flesh of bulls * and drink the blood of goats?
Offer unto God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, * and pay your vows unto the Most High,
And call upon me in the time of trouble; * so will I hear you, and you shall praise me.”
But to the ungodly God says: * “Why do you recite my laws, and take my covenant in your mouth,
Whereas you hate to be disciplined, * and have cast my words behind you?
When you saw a thief, you agreed with him, * and you have taken part with adulterers.
You have let your mouth speak wickedness, * and with your tongue you have set forth deceit.
You sat and spoke against your brother; * yes, and have slandered your own mother’s son.
These things you have done, and I held my tongue, * and you thought wickedly that I am such a one as yourself;
But I will reprove you, * and set before you the things that you have done.
O consider this, you who forget God, * lest I pluck you away, and there be none to deliver you.
Whoever offers me a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me, * and to him who orders his way aright will I show the salvation of God.”
+Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you—for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.