1st Sunday of Advent, Year A
3-6 year olds
Today is the beginning of a new season in the Church. Each time the season changes, so does the colour. For weeks and weeks, the priests have been wearing green, banners in the church have been green--but today everything changes.
Now the colour is purple.
Purple is for a season 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 today's Gospel, Jesus says,
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
Jesus is telling us to be ready. "Unexpected hour" means that we don't know when he will come. It means we might be surprised at how he comes. We just know that he is coming. Jesus is always coming more and more into our lives.
What can we do to be ready for Jesus?
In our first reading today we hear from the prophet Isaiah.
Prophets are people who sat so still...
Who listened so carefully...
They heard God speaking to them.
And when they heard God, they told everyone what God said.
The prophet Isaiah gives us an invitation:
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. The Word of God IS Jesus. When we listen to the word of God, Jesus is with us.
Did that surprise you? That might have been a little unexpected!
Is the church the only house of God?
Can our own home also be a house of God? I wonder, can we listen to the Word of God in our own home, too? And if we do, will Jesus be with us more and more?
I wonder if this Advent you might find a special place in your house to place a purple cloth and a candle. If you have a Bible, you could put it there, too. Perhaps an adult could light the candle and read a few words to you 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 you can sit so still...
and listen so carefully...
you may hear God speaking to you deep in your heart.