We have entered a new church year and the season of Advent. Advent means "to come to," and we consider the two "comings" of Jesus. Naturally, we think of his coming at Christmas. The deadline is on the calendar already -- just a few short weeks away! But we especially think of Jesus' second coming when he will deliver us from all evil and bring us into his glorious, perfect, peaceful, everlasting kingdom. The joy Jesus brought at his first coming makes us yearn for his second coming. He has taken away our sins and has, therefore, prepared us for his kingdom.
As we await the coming of our Lord, we prepare. We keep watch. We wait with prayer and humility.
We will also use this Advent season to slow down for a moment on Wednesday evenings for vespers. December is hectic enough. Vespers, an evening prayer service, lets us meditate, pray, and focus on Christ.
This year's Advent Vespers has the theme: "SEE HOW THE LORD BEGETS THE CHRIST." Our focus is on the first 17 verses of the Gospel according to St. Matthew. Chances are, if you read these verses at all, you skim pretty quickly past all the names, most of them unfamiliar. But if the Holy Spirit thought it important enough to include these 17 verses in Holy Scripture, then they are also worth meditating upon. We wll do that during these Wednesday Vespers for Advent.
The schedule is as follows. SEE HOW THE LORD BEGETS THE CHRIST:
Through Patriarchs. (Matthew 1:1-6a) December 2
Through Kings. (Matthew 1:6b-11) December 9
Through Returned Exiles. (Matthew 1:12-17) December 16
A supper will be served at 6:00 PM.
Vespers begins at 7:00 PM.