On this Thursday in the third week of Advent, we hear from the Gospel according to Matthew about being ready, a true Advent theme:
‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Mt. 25:1-13).
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this.” This passage is about the Kingdom of God. There are those who are helping to build the Kingdom, to bring justice, peace and the light of Christ into this world, and there are those whose lamps don’t even have enough oil to get them through a short period. When Christ comes in power and great glory, will you be one of those who has worked to build the Kingdom of God, or will you be asleep having done nothing?
Let us pray: Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
This Sunday, the 4th Sunday in Advent, the Children will preach the sermon through their Advent Program. After the Eucharist, we will have a pot luck lunch.
We continue this Sunday at 11 a.m. with A World Awaits, Advent Reflections by C.S. Lewis.
On Thursday, 19 December, the Seaside Seniors will have their Christmas Party in Sutton Hall at St. Augustine’s where St. Nicholas will give out gifts and the Children’s Choir from St. Vincent’s House will provide holiday cheer.
Christmas Eve Eucharist Rite II will be at 4 PM.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially the very old and the very young who are ill and all of those who are alone this Christmas Season.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550