Scholar Seth Moland-Kovash, Palatine, IL

Warm-up Question

What is the oldest human-made object you’ve ever seen in person?

God’s Word Will Not Pass Away

Geologists estimate the Grand Canyon started forming 6 million years ago. “Sue,” The Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton at the Field Museum in Chicago is estimated to be 65 million years old. The Great Wall of China was built in 221 BCE. Stonehenge is estimated to have been built around 2000 BCE. The world is full of very old things, things that have lasted a long time. Sometimes those are things humans made and sometimes they are naturally occurring. Either way, we are surrounded by things that have lasted a very, very long time.

Archeologists in Egypt have been making some very interesting discoveries recently. In November of 2020, they discovered 200 sarcophagi (or coffins) from around 500 BCE. Scholars found them in an area that acted as a necropolis (or cemetery) for the ancient capital of Memphis. They are probably the bodies of priests or high-ranking court officials and will teach us a lot about ancient Egyptian society. 

Discussion Questions

  • What do you think about when you see something as old as the sarcophagi from ancient Egypt?
  • What are you most curious about concerning life 2500 years ago?
  • What from your life would you want to last, so that your great-great-grandchildren could see or know it?

First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 64:1-9

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:24-37

(Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year A at Lectionary Readings.)

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.

Gospel Reflection

As we enter the season of Advent and a new church year, our Gospel readings encourage us to look forward. We look forward to the time when Jesus will come again. Jesus tells his disciples in today’s reading that heaven and earth may pass away, but God’s word will not pass away. Generations come and go. Kingdoms and empires have come and gone since Jesus’ words. But the promise of God is eternal.

The promise of God, sealed in our baptism and spoken over us, is that we are God’s beloved children.  And nothing can take that away. The season of Advent reminds us that Jesus is coming. We look back in memory to the time when Jesus came as a little boy to Bethlehem. At the same time, we look forward with trust and hope to the time when Jesus will come again. That is the sure promise – no matter how long it takes and no matter how many generations come and go, God’s promise that Jesus will come to bring true justice and true peace to the world will never be broken.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you light Advent candles or an Advent wreath in your home to mark these weeks? How might doing so help you focus your waiting?
  • How hard is it for you to be patient? What is it like for you to wait for some promised gift or special event?
  • What helps you to trust a promise? Does it help to have a reminder or some little hints of evidence?  

Activity Suggestions

Write an Advent/Christmas card to senior or shut-in members of your congregation. Remind them that God loves them and nothing can take that away.

Closing Prayer

Eternal God, remind us that you are always with us, you have always been with us and always will be with us. Amen.