Readings: November 30, 2014, 1st Sunday of Advent

All readings from The Message Bible © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

  • Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b, 64: 2-7

   O, Lord, You are our living Father, our Redeemer, famous from eternity! Why, God, did you make us wander from your ways? Why did you make us cold and stubborn so that we no longer worshiped you in awe?

   Turn back for the sake of your servants. You own us! We belong to you! For a while your holy people had it good, but now our enemies have wrecked your holy place. For a long time now, you’ve paid no attention to us. It’s like you never knew us.

          Can We Be Saved?

Oh, that you would rip open the heavens and descend, make the mountains shudder at your presence — As when a forest catches fire, as when fire makes a pot to boil — to shock your enemies into facing you, make the nations shake in their boots! You did terrible things we never expected, descended and made the mountains shudder at your presence.

   Since before time began no one has ever imagined, no ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who happily do what is right, who keep a good memory of the way you work.

   But how angry you’ve been with us! We’ve sinned and kept at it so long! Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved? We’re all sin-infected, sin-contaminated. Our best efforts are grease-stained rags. We dry up like autumn leaves — sin-dried, we’re blown off by the wind.

   No one prays to you or makes the effort to reach out to you Because you’ve turned away from us, left us to stew in our sins.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

   Brothers and sisters: may all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father, and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours.

Every time I think of you—and I think of you often!—I thank God for your lives of free and open access to God, given by Jesus. There’s no end to what has happened in you—it’s beyond speech, beyond knowledge. The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives.

 Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.

  • Mark 13:33-37

 Jesus said to his disciples:“ No one knows the exact day and hour, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father. So keep a sharp lookout, for you don’t know the timetable. It’s like a man who takes a trip, leaving home and putting his servants in charge, each assigned a task, and commanding the gatekeeper to stand watch. So, stay at your post, watching. You have no idea when the homeowner is returning, whether evening, midnight, cockcrow, or morning. You don’t want him showing up unannounced, with you asleep on the job. I say it to you, and I’m saying it to all: Stay at your post. Keep watch.”

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