1st Sunday of Advent (Ages 3-6): Come, Lord Jesus!
(Adults, the Gospel for this Sunday involves images that are incomprehensible for little people. This reflection focuses on only the last verse and listens to the first reading from the prophet Isaiah.)
This Sunday, the Church begins a new season. Each time the season changes, so does the colour. For weeks and weeks, the colour has been green—the priests have been wearing green, the banners in the church have been green—but today everything changes.
Now the colour is purple.
Purple is for a season of waiting, of preparing, of getting ready for a feast. We are preparing for the feast of Christmas, when we celebrate the Light coming into the world. We call this season of preparation, "Advent."
We know that Jesus was born a long time ago. We know he taught about the Kingdom of God. We know he died and he rose again to new life, never to die again.
We also know that we want him with us now. And Jesus told us that he would come again.
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus says,
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
Jesus tells us to be ready. He wants us to wait for him and to prepare for him.
"Unexpected" means that we do not know when he will come.
It means we might be surprised at how he comes.
We just know that he comes.
Jesus always comes more and more into our lives.
How can we be ready for Jesus? How can we wait? How can we prepare?
In our first reading this Sunday we hear from the prophet Isaiah. Prophets are preparation people.
Prophets sit so still...
they listen so carefully...
they hear God speaking to them.
And when they hear God, they tell everyone what God says.
The prophet Isaiah invites us:
Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.
Come to the house of God, Isaiah says. What is the "house of God"?
We know the house of God is the church. We go to church to hear the Word of God. When we listen to the word of God, Jesus is with us. Jesus is the Word of God.
Well that is surprising! That is a little unexpected!
But is the church the only house of God?
Can our own homes also be a house of God? We can listen to the Word of God in our own homes, too. If we listen to the Word of God in our own homes, will Jesus be with us more and more?
Perhaps this Advent we might find a special place in our homes to place a purple cloth and a candle. We could put a Bible there, too, if we have one. Perhaps an adult could light the candle and read a few words from the Bible. Perhaps they might read from the prophet Isaiah,
come, let us walk in the light of the Lord! (Isaiah 2:5)
Then we can sit so still...
and listen so carefully...
we may hear God speaking to us deep in our hearts.