First Thursday in Advent

Readings: Isaiah 26:1-6; Psalm 118:19-24; Matthew 7:21-27

In previous posts I’ve talked of the long wait of Advent as not being a time of standing idly by waiting for the return of Christ, but rather a time when we are at work, living out the life of the kingdom of God.  This kingdom has already entered the world through the birth of Jesus, and it is at work in the world until the time when Jesus will return and establish it in its fullness.

This is a kingdom with different priorities from the kingdoms, whether they be political, social, or economic, that exist in the present day.  As the Matthew reading warns, it will not be on how impressive the feats are that we accomplish, but how well we do the will of the Father in heaven.

This reading comes towards the very end of what is known as the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel.  It’s reasonable therefore, to think that what it means to do the will of the Father  has been laid out in the teaching that has previously occurred in this section.

The long wait of Advent is to be spend living out the Sermon on the Mount.  This is no doubt some of the most challenging teaching that is found in the Bible, but the second half of today’s Matthew reading, along with the readings from Isaiah, and the Psalms, indicate that it is God that we are able to find the strength, in fact that God is the strength, that will enable us to live our this sermon while we are waiting.

Today, we are invited to wait by living in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount.  Let us open our hearts to the Spirit that allows us to do so.


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