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The First Sunday of Advent

Jeremiah 33.14–16
1 Thessalonians 3.9–13
Luke 21.25–36

It is January, ad 69. You are a Greek-speaking Christian in a Roman town in Turkey. You are deeply anxious about the fierce war in Judaea: the Romans have laid siege to Jerusalem; the city faces starvation, civil strife and military defeat; many Christians are caught in the middle. Official news from Rome has confirmed that the Emperor, Nero, committed suicide a few months ago, to be succeeded by Galba, a general from the provinces. Now you hear a wild rumour that Galba himself has been killed, that other would-be emperors are staking their claims, and that a major civil war is looming. All the fixed points of your ordinary life are suddenly in question. What language can you borrow to do justice to the reality?...

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