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First Sunday in Advent
The First Sunday in Advent, which marks the beginning of the new church year, will be commemorated on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023.
To attend a worship service, visit locator.lcms.org/church to find a local Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregation. Enter your zip code and click “Search” to see a list of area churches, service times, and contact information.
If you are homebound, traveling, or otherwise unable to attend a service in person, KFUO Radio airs worship services throughout the church year. Visit KFUO.org to view the schedule and listen to services.
Liturgical colors for the First Sunday in Advent
Blue or violet adorns the altar during Advent. Advent, a season of repentance, waiting and watching, looks forward in hope. Our Christian faith rests on the hope that Christ, who came in the flesh in history to accomplish our salvation, will also return in the same way to be our judge on the last day and bring us into eternal life.
Three-Year Series B Lectionary
- Isaiah 64:1–9
- Psalm 80:1–7
- 1 Cor. 1:3–9
- Mark 11:1–10 or Mark 13:24–37
The Lord Jesus Comes in Meekness and Humility to Save Us
Although we pray that God “would rend the heavens and come down” (Isaiah 64:1), that He would take vengeance against our enemies, we ourselves “have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6). We have continued in our sins for “a long time, and shall we be saved?” (Is. 64:5). Yet, the Lord does not punish us in anger. He comes in voluntary meekness and humility to save us by His grace. Just as He once came into Jerusalem to sacrifice Himself for us upon the cross (Mark 11:4–8), He still comes to His Church with the fruits of His Passion. By His ministry of the Gospel, we are “enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge,” and so He will “sustain you to the end” (1 Cor. 1:5, 8). Although “heaven and earth will pass away,” His words “will not pass away” (Mark 13:31). As He sends disciples to call us to Himself in the fellowship of His Church, so will He “send out the angels” to gather us and all of His elect “from the ends of the earth” to Himself in heaven forever (Mark 13:27).
One-Year Series Lectionary
- Jer. 23:5–8
- Psalm 24
- Rom. 13:(8–10) 11–14
- Matt. 21:1–9
The Lord Jesus Comes in Humility to Redeem Us
The new Church Year begins by focusing on the humble coming of our Lord. “Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey” (Matt. 21:5). Even as He was born in a lowly manger, so Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a beast of burden. For He bears the sin of the world. He is the Son of David riding to His enthronement on the cross, where He shows Himself to be “The LORD is our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:5–6). Our Lord still comes in great humility to deliver His righteousness to us in the Word and Sacraments. Before receiving Christ’s body and blood, we also sing, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt. 21:9) And as we receive the Sacrament, we set our hearts on His return in glory, for “our salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Rom. 13:11).
The LCMS has produced media kits for congregations to use in reaching out to their communities. The free, downloadable resources are designed to allow congregations to add invitations and local details about worship services. Congregations are invited to use these resources to advertise service information or simply to generate opportunities for pastoral conversations in the community.