Advent Themes, Year A

Year A Revised Common Lectionary emphases
    • week 1: Marking a new liturgical year and season, Jesus' words point us toward attentiveness to our times, to night and day and the day and hour. Also striking ecologically is the prophet Isaiah's vision of beating swords into plowshares, guiding modern reflections on how our resources and technology may be for earth-care instead of causing the destruction of life.
    • week 2: From the wilderness, John the Baptist preaches with natural imagery of trees and axes, grain and chaff. Among the most beautiful ecological visions in all of Scripture, Isaiah's Peaceable Kingdom casts the image that it is not only human beings who are reconciled by God's work but the wolf and lamb, calf and lion, snakes, serpents, and more, so that "the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord."
    • week 3: Another beautiful prophetic vision is of the blossoming desert (Isaiah 35), reminding us that the work of Jesus in healing human illness and brokenness is complemented by creation-wide restoration and celebration.
    • week 4: With Isaiah's words about the young girl conceiving and Matthew's awareness of the dilemmas and difficulties this pregnancy caused for Joseph, this day emphasizes the physical realities of childbirth, that our human bodies are not only the venue of God's spiritual work but are inextricably part of life in this world.                                                                The Peaceable Kingdom
    Edward Hicks, c1820