Blessed Lord, who has caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such a way hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of your holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Read Luke 21:25-33, especially these verses: when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Read Romans 15:4-13, especially these words: whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
As we continue the Advent themes of preparing for Jesus’ arrival in the flesh, in our minds, and for judgment, St. Luke gives us a picture of that judgment in his Gospel book. We are reminded there that the ways of this world will pass away. Everything that belongs to the world will come to an end: all our divisions, evils, prejudices, and sinful desires will be destroyed. Everything that belongs to God will endure, however: truth, faith, hope, love. In particular, God’s promises are highlighted in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans as something that is never-failing. The Holy Bible is lifted up here as a source of comfort – the more we hear, read, study, learn, and internalize the words of sacred Scripture, the better we know God’s promises and will for the whole world. So the big lesson here is that we get our priorities straightened out, and our attentions rightly focused. Do we spend more time focusing on the things of this world that are passing away than we spend focusing on the enduring word of God? Of course, we all have necessary roles and tasks in life that we must accomplish (be it school, work, family, or other responsibilities) and we also need times of rest and leisure, but do we use those as excuses to neglect the need to work on and rest in the word of God?
Close with the Collect for Advent
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.