Perfect for Advent: David Ould’s meditations on Handel’s Messiah

November 30, 2008

(updated with two new entries)

One of the friends of this blog, Aussie Anglican priest and blogger David Ould, has recently been posting a series on Handel’s Messiah over at Stand Firm. We thought it would make a great addition to Lent & Beyond’s collection of Advent Resources and Links. Here are the various posts:

Messiah: Isaiah 40

Messiah: The God who Judges

Messiah – the Promised Christ

Messiah – Annunciation to the Shepherds

Messiah – The Good Shepherd

Messiah – the reason for the Incarnation

Messiah – the cross

Messiah – Resurrection & Ascension

Don’t forget: You can find all of Lent & Beyond’s 2008 Advent posts here.

Jos, Nigeria

November 30, 2008

A current news report says that violence has abated on Sunday, with a round-the-clock curfew in place. Hundreds are dead, many of them Muslim. Churches and mosques burned. One report said some clergymen dead–no details. It would seem that the land is fertile; the Christians tend to be farmers and the Muslims herdsmen, and they tend to support different political parties.

Dear Lord,
We thank You that the violence in Jos has been stayed. You are indeed a mighty God.
Send Your Holy Spirit to rest upon this city to comfort the bereaved, heal the wounded, and protect Your children. We lift the residents of Jos, Muslim and Christian, to Your tender care. Bless them, Lord. Amen.

UPDATE: The Pope calls for prayer.

Isaiah 1:1-9

November 30, 2008

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. (Isaiah 11:)
      Holy Spirit, please give us clarity of vision in our day.

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me; (Isaiah 12:)
      Father, we in the Episcopal Church have been a rebellious people.

The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not consider.” (Isaiah 1:3)
      Jesus, have mercy on us, for the Episcopal Church no longer walks in your ways and does not acknowledge you as Lord.

Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward. (Isaiah 1:4)
      Father, we have sinned against your righteous ways; have mercy on us and restore us to your bosom.

Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. (Isaiah 1:5)
      Holy Spirit, we have revolted against your righteous words; have mercy on us.

From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment. (Isaiah 1:6)
      Lord, have mercy on us and help us return to you. Anoint us with your Holy Spirit and we shall be healed.

Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; strangers devour your land in your presence; and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. (Isaiah 1:7)
      Father, the Episcopal Church is becoming a carcass picked over by lawyers — have mercy on us.

So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. (Isaiah 1:8 )
      Holy Spirit, we are surrounded by our sins; lead us back into the ways of your righteousness.

Unless the LORD of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:9)
      LORD, protect the faithful remnant of your people. Guide us and direct us day by day. Thank you.

Sunday: 146, 147; Isaiah 1:1-9; 2 Peter 3:1-10; Matthew 25:1-13
Monday: 1, 2, 3 ; Isaiah 1:10-20; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Luke 20:1-8

Albany Intercessor

Advent Favorites — Henri Nouwen – An Advent Prayer

November 30, 2008

Note: this is the first in a new series of “Advent Favorites” – the best Advent posts from Advent 2004 -2006 from our old blog site. There will be at least 2-3 new Advent Favorites each week. They’ll all be linked in the Advent section of the sidebar, and also the Special Series section. Enjoy and a Blessed Advent to all our readers!


Originally posted: Monday, November 28, 2005

Henri Nouwen — An Advent Prayer

An Advent Prayer from the late Rev. Henri Nouwen — so appropriate for the beginning of Advent and this season which can be so frantic. May the Lord indeed help us quiet our hearts and listen for His voice each day. May we diligently seek to know His presence, rather than allowing our anxious thoughts to distract us and may He tune our ears to hear His counsel.

Memling Advent

Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.

We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”


Art Credit: Advent and Triumph of Christ (detail), Hans MEMLING, 1480; Oil on wood, Alte Pinakothek, Munich. Source: Web Gallery of Art.

Prayer Credit: The only publishing information I have found for this prayer is the following: Catholic Family Prayer Book, published by Our Sunday Visitor, 2001.

Advent Quotes — Frederick Buechner: “First Sunday of Advent”

November 30, 2008


First Sunday of Advent

“The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised his baton. In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart…The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.”

— Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark, pp. 2,3

(We first posted this on Dec. 4th, 2006 with a hat tip to the “Go to Bethlehem blog” where were first saw it linked.  Image:  Finnish National Orchestra)

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