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St Andrew’s Day / Advent 1

St Andrew’s Day / Advent 1

Advent is the 4-week season in the church calendar leading up to Christmas when Christians look forward with anticipation to celebrating the coming of Jesus as the Christ-child. We also look beyond to Christ’s promised return when he will rule over all creation.

Each week we light a candle in the Advent Wreath and recite a special prayer to remind us of the hope, joy, peace and love we find in being a committed member of Christ’s family on earth.

The first Sunday in December is also a day we specially remember the life and work of Andrew the Apostle after whom our Lismore church is named. As one of the first to be called into Jesus’ team at the commencement of his earthly ministry, Andrew and his brother Simon Peter are outstanding examples of the personal qualities required for serving our Lord Jesus effectively.

As professional fishermen, Andrew and Simon Peter knew about discipline, team work, persistence, observing signs and vigilance in recognising opportunities.

That they trusted Jesus enough to leave their equipment and successful trade behind – as well as family and possessions – to follow their friend into an uncertain future, is inspiring enough. But later they also suffered greatly – torture and death – because of their firm conviction that Jesus was – and is – who he said he said he is: the Messiah and Son of God.

What are we willing to sacrifice for Jesus’ sake? What value do we place on eternal life and how prepared are we to become the kind of people who Jesus said might receive such a priceless gift?

 

ISAIAH 2: 1-5      The Future House of God

1The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2 In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.  3   Many peoples shall come and say, ‘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.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more. 5 O house of Jacob,come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!

 

ROMANS 13: 9-14    

9The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 10Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; 13let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. 14Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

MATTHEW 4: 18-22   Jesus Calls the First Disciples

18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. 19And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ 20Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. 22Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.