Lectionary lectionaryorgSunday, November 30, 2014, is the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of a new Church year.

Those churches using a three-year Lectionary will move into Year B’s readings for the next 12 months.

Advent is a time of preparation in recalling our Lord’s coming to live among us. Some worshippers might say that the readings in the run-up to Christmas are often gloomy. However, they encourage us to reflect on our need for God and His Son.

The Vanderbilt Divinity Library has Sunday readings from the Revised Common Lectionary.

This Sunday’s reading from Isaiah 64:1-9 includes one of my favourite verses:

64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

The reading concludes:

64:9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Psalm 80 (verses 1-7, 17-19) includes this refrain, characteristic of the Advent season:

80:3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

1 Corinthians 1:3-9 is the Epistle for this day and contains the following:

1:9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Gospel reading is Mark 13:24-37:

13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

13:32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

13:33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.

Advent is meant to be a solemn time when we consider our spiritual state and relationship to our only Redeemer and Advocate.

Amidst our celebrations and preparations, may we set aside time to read and contemplate to better understand the importance of the season.