First Sunday in Advent
November 29, 2015
“Blessed is the King Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:28-40)
As you can tell from the change in the color of the paraments and from the presence of the Advent wreath and from one candle being lit on the Advent wreath, today is the First Sunday in Advent. And the traditional Gospel reading for the First Sunday in Advent is the account of Jesus entering Jerusalem to the acclaim of the crowds, as you just heard. But now you may be wondering, “The triumphal entry into Jerusalem–isn’t that a reading for Palm Sunday? Why are we getting a Palm Sunday reading here in Advent?” And well you might wonder. For yes, this Gospel reading is about something that took place on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.
But there is a reason why the account of Jesus entering Jerusalem has historically been placed at the beginning of the Advent season. For Advent is all about the coming of our King. The word “Advent” even means “coming.” This season is about preparing for the coming of our Lord: his coming as prophesied of old; his coming in the flesh at Christmas; his coming as the humble King riding into Jerusalem; his coming among us now in Word and Sacrament; and Christ’s coming again on the Last Day as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Advent is the season of anticipating and welcoming the coming of our King, and this Palm Sunday reading does a fine job of helping us do just that. What the crowds in our text cry out serves as our theme for this morning: “Blessed is the King Who Comes in the Name of the Lord!”