~ Immanuel is the Hebrew word for “God is with us” ~
You, Lord, are our father,
our redeemer you are named forever.
Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways,
and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?
Return for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your heritage.
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
with the mountains quaking before you,
while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for,
such as they had not heard of from of old.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent — a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.
The term advent is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”. The Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, therefore, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives — the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”