First Thursday of Advent (Year B)



Hosea 6:1-6 | Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 | 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10


Advent Meditation by Mary Jenkins

All three of these passages reflect a hope, indeed a certainty that Christ will come again, lifting us out of our trials and tribulations. Hosea says, “On the third day he will raise us up.”  Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians praises this community of new believers: “You turned from idols to serve a true and living God…and to wait for his son Jesus, who rescues you from the wrath that is coming.” Psalm 85 ends with a statement in the future tense: “Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.”

Always we human beings, especially in the face of difficult times, look for a brighter future, whether here on earth or after death.  Lately, we have all been facing difficulties:  losses brought on by a pandemic, economic hardship, or a sense of desolation.

I just learned that a cousin is still enduring the effects of the virus—fatigue and a lung-damaging cough. Her doctor is trying to get her off oxygen.  Our immediate family, like many others, had to scrap plans for a Thanksgiving family reunion. And yet, we have much to be thankful for.

Like many in our Grace Church community, I am thankful for the continuity provided by the live-streamed services made possible by the skill and steadfastness of Jim and Anne Wroten.  And of course for our clergy who bring us Zoomed forums, Bible studies, Sunday school and other activities to keep us all going. We are blessed with many creative and giving parishioners like Anne Rieselbach, who organizes our forums and like Elana Foundos, who brought us a wonderful substitute for our annual Christmas Fair.

We are all working together to make a supportive and nourishing “Beloved Community.”  The Psalmist implores “Show us your steadfast love and grant us your salvation.”  Perhaps a second coming can occur whenever we reach out to God and to each other. So let us continue to seek the power of the Holy Spirit during this Advent season.