Hope

A postcard from the First Sunday of Advent 11/28/21

Advent Wreath, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greensboro, AL

Advent is a season that challenges us to hope.

The readings from the First Sunday of Advent are difficult. Jesus predicts the end times and Jeremiah is writing to a people in despair. While there is not hint of Christmas in the readings, there is the challenge to hold on to hope.

Advent is a season of preparation for the coming of Christ in glory and in the incarnation. Because it is a season that focuses on preparation, many of our churches use purple (which is also used in Lent). But some of our churches use blue (as in the photo above). This blue is called sarum blue. Some folks see the introduction of sarum blue as a way to sell more vestments and church stuff, but it is a recovery of an Anglican tradition from Salisbury Cathedral. Sarum being the ancient Latin name for Salisbury. The use of blue differentiates the hopeful preparation of Advent from the more penitential preparation of Lent.

So whether your candles are purple or blue, remember that Advent is about preparing ourselves to be people of hope even in difficult times!


A sermon from St. Paul’s in Greensboro:

Principal text: Psalm 25:1-9

Audio only available here


Coming next

Next Sunday begins the season of Advent. Advent is a season about the coming of Christ in history, mystery, and majesty. It is a season filled with prophets and John the Baptist. It is one of my favorite seasons.

If you are looking for prayers to say around an Advent Wreat at home, here is a short service.

  • Nov. 28 – St. Paul’s, Greensboro – 1st Sunday of Advent
  • Dec. 5 – St. Barnabas, Roanoke – 2nd Sunday of Advent
  • Dec. 12 – Messiah, Heflin – 3rd Sunday of Advent
  • Dec. 19 – Messiah, Heflin – 4th Sunday of Advent

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