An Advent Prayer: Illumine our way this Advent

November 30, 2015

From yesterday’s Advent devotional at Biola’s FANTASTIC online multimedia Advent calendar, an excellent Advent prayer:

Lord Jesus, as we enter into this Advent season, we confess to You our brokenness and dependency. We confess to You our spiritual wanderings and distracted hearts. We confess to You the darkness of our souls without the rescue light of You, our Savior. “Create in us a clean heart” (Psalm 51:10) and a prayerful posture of dependence upon You, the living Word, light of humanity, Divine Initiator, filled with grace and truth. Illumine our way in this Advent season.  Amen.

 


From the Lectionary for 2015 11 30

November 30, 2015

Matthew 21:3-5 (NKJV)
And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ “
      Holy Spirit, help me recognize Jesus when he comes to me.

Matthew 21:9 (NKJV)
Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
      Father, please help us sing “Hosannas” to Jesus and make joyful melody when he comes among us.

2 Peter 1:5-7 (NKJV)
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
      Lord Jesus, help me to be a disciple who grows into the life of your Spirit with:
      diligence
      faith
      virtue
      knowledge
      self-control
      perseverance
      godliness
      brotherly kindness
      love.

Psalm 4:1 (NKJV)
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
      Hear my prayer, O God of my righteousness.

Psalm 4:5 (NKJV)
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
      Jesus, help me place my trust in you.

Psalm 7:17 (NKJV)
I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
      LORD, it is your righteousness that counts, not mine; help me to sing your praises. Thank you.

Word: I will give you songs to sing and place melodies in your heart.

***** Neighborhood Meal Prayer Table, Christ Church, November 29, 2015, Chuck and Theresa Rinaldo
+ received a cross

+ Rianna – Pray for her to do well in school and make more good friends. Pray for her Uncle Joshua and Bo to get along.
+ John – needs God’s provision to be able to go back home to Georgia. He is currently working minimum wage and needs something more substantial.
+ Jennifer – Pray for God’s provision, peace in the community and for her to have a closer walk with the Lord. Also pray for the woman who left her baby in the trash bin.
+ Kaie – Prayed for Beverly who had a stroke and is in recovery. We asked for healing and quick recovery.
+ Howard – Pray for God to provide a place for him and his family to live.

Albany Intercessor


Advent Poems: Christina Rossetti’s “Advent Sunday” (Behold the Bridegroom Cometh) – read by Malcolm Guite

November 29, 2015

One of the Advent Series I am most excited about is Anglican priest and poet Malcolm Guite’s series for Advent 2015.  He’ll be reading an Advent poem from his Advent poetry anthology “Waiting on the Word” each day.

Today, for Advent Sunday, his reading is Christina Rossetti’s poem “Advent Sunday” (Behold the Bridegroom Cometh)

Here’s the text of the poem, which I found here.

Advent Sunday

Source: The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti (1904), page 156

BEHOLD, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out
With lighted lamps and garlands round about
To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

It may be at the midnight, black as pitch,
Earth shall cast up her poor, cast up her rich.

It may be at the crowing of the cock
Earth shall upheave her depth, uproot her rock.

For lo, the Bridegroom fetcheth home the Bride:
His Hands are Hands she knows, she knows His Side.

Like pure Rebekah at the appointed place,
Veiled, she unveils her face to meet His Face.

Like great Queen Esther in her triumphing,
She triumphs in the Presence of her King.

His Eyes are as a Dove’s, and she’s Dove-eyed;
He knows His lovely mirror, sister, Bride.

He speaks with Dove-voice of exceeding love,
And she with love-voice of an answering Dove.

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go we out
With lamps ablaze and garlands round about
To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

Before 1886.

Each day’s poetry reading is accompanied by a beautiful illustration by Lancia SmithHere’s her image to accompany today’s poem:

2 Behold the Bridegroom cometh 1 - wm

art credit:  Lancia E Smith: Behold the Bridegroom Cometh


Recommended Devotional Sites & Resources for Advent 2015

November 29, 2015

This post is sticky. Look below for new entries.

advent_vespersHappy Advent! Below is a list of some of the best sites for devotionals and prayers throughout Advent. Almost all the sites featured below will have new entries each day of Advent. We will update this list from time to time as we discover new websites. Resources marked “*(A)” are from the Anglican tradition.

Please feel free to share recommendations for Advent links & resources in the comments!

Don’t forget our Advent Devotionals category here at Lent & Beyond.

Click on “Read the rest of the entry” to see all the links.

Read the rest of this entry »


Two Prayers for the first Sunday of Advent

November 29, 2015

The traditional Anglican collect for the First Sunday in Advent:

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

***

A contemporary prayer for the First Sunday in Advent by Pastor Scotty Smith, from his blog Heavenward:

     You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isa. 40:9-11 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, on this first Sunday of Advent, we praise, bless and adore, for the privilege of celebrating your great faithfulness and your immeasurable generosity. You sent Jesus to us, and have given him for us. Every promise you have made finds its emphatic “Yes!” in Jesus (2 Cor. 1:20).

     Fuel our wonder and enflame our hearts, Father. Help us engage again, with the story of Jesus’ birth, with childlike wonder and renewed hope. Bring familiar Scriptures alive in fresh and transforming ways. We don’t trust in a season, but in our Savior.

     I love how Isaiah describes the Messiah coming to gather us up in his “Advent arms.” To be tended as a helpless lamb, to be held close to your heart, to be gently led—what more could we possibly need or desire? We believe; help our unbelief.

     And in Jesus, you come near to us as the Sovereign Lord, with your sleeves rolled up as the great ruler. Your arm rules over all history and every heartache, over all kings and every crises. Nothing and no one can alter, subvert, or change the story you are telling, and the kingdom you are advancing, through Jesus. Thankfully, these aren’t mere metaphors, Father; for metaphors can’t save us, only inspire us. You really are this involved in our lives, and your really are this merciful and mighty.

     Indeed, the coming of Jesus puts all nations on notice: There is only one true King, and he is Jesus. And the coming of Jesus puts us—your people, face down in adoring love. Over the next several weeks, show us, yet again, how Jesus is a most wonderful and grace-full Savior—Immanuel, the God who is very much with us and totally for us. So very Amen we pray, with Advent longings, in Jesus’ matchless and merciful name.


New Advent links for Christian Resource Institute (CRIVoice)

November 29, 2015

I’m sure I’ve posted DOZENS of links over the years to the great resources at Christian Resource Institute / CRIVoice

It appeares they’ve changed their website domain, and old links will probably not work.

Here’s their new website address:  http://www.crivoice.org/index.html

Here are some of their great Advent links:

Overview: The Season of Advent

A table of Daily Scripture Readings for Advent 2015

Jesse Tree links & Resources

A list of traditional Songs for Advent

All About the Advent Wreath

Responsive Readings for Advent

“Chrismon” ornament patterns


Advent – Make Time to Prepare a Place

November 29, 2015

This morning, a perfect song for Advent came up in my worship playlist:  Prepare a Place, written by Christine Dente and Michael W. Smith.  It’s from a 2004 Christmas compilation by various artists called Gloria.

The lyrics are an exhortation for us to intentionally enter into this season of waiting and prepare our hearts anew for Christ’s coming:

Prepare A Place

Prepare a place, while you’re waiting.
Prepare a place for the coming One.
Prepare a place and be patient.
While you wait for the coming One.

Chorus:
Wait for the coming One!
While you wait for the coming One!

Prepare your heart, while you’re waiting.
Prepare your heart for the coming One.
Set time aside and be quiet.
While you wait for the coming One.

– written by Michael W. Smith and Christine Dente, from the 2004 album “Gloria”


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