Advent Prayer: May we be ready to meet Him at His Second Advent

December 4, 2015

O Almighty Father, fountain of light and salvation, we adore thine infinite goodness in sending thy only begotten Son into the world that, believing in him, we may not perish but have everlasting life; and we pray thee that, through the grace of his first advent to save the world, we may be made ready to meet him at his second advent to judge the world; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bishop William Walsham How (1823-1897)

H/T The Rev. Kendall Harmon, at TitusOneNine

 

Advertisements

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.

 


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.


ADVENT 2015 at Lent & Beyond

November 29, 2015

Advent_Blog_Banner

Note: this entry is “sticky” and will remain at the top of the blog throughout Advent. Look for new entries below.

Advent has started!!! We wish all our readers a Blessed Advent!

I (Karen) hope to do some Advent blogging this year, though it won’t be daily. Even if I don’t do much blogging, I may be posting some Advent tweets, so keep an eye on our Lent & Beyond Twitter Accout (@AnglicanPrayer)

Here are some links to help you find your way around the wealth of Advent resources at Lent & Beyond:

All new Advent posts for 2015 can be found with our Advent 2015 tag.

For all Advent entries past & present, here’s our Advent category.

Our Advent Subcategories include: Advent Devotionals, Advent Prayers, Advent PoemsAdvent Music, Advent Quotes, Advent Resources, Advent: Family & Children

Here’s the “Best of Advent at Lent & Beyond” entry – compiled last year, with links to many of our Advent favorites from our 10 years of blogging. Here’s our Advent Favorites category.

Here’s the  BRAND NEW UPDATED list of links to excellent sites for Advent devotionals & prayers for Advent 2015.

Here’s the link for all our posts containing Advent worship music.

Here’s the link for all of last year’s entries:  Index of all our Advent entries for 2014

May the Lord prepare all of our hearts for celebrating the miracle of His birth and may He draw us near to Him in worship this Advent.


Advent Favorites: St Symeon – Come O Eternal Joy

December 16, 2014

As the theme of Week 3 of Advent is Joy, yesterday, I prepared the following entry for today, a re-post from our 2006 Advent archives (from our old, now defunct blog).  Having read the news headlines this morning of the horrific massacre of schoolchildren in Pakistan, I nearly hesitate to re-post this today.  However the tragedies of the world serve to strengthen our longing for His coming… so may we hold on to the hope of His promises today, and the indescribable joy we will know in His presence.

From our 2006 archives

St. Symeon: Come, O Eternal Joy!

I am stealing this shamelessly from Pontifications, artwork and all. It’s just too good! I consider it essential Advent reading (even though Fr. Al posted it weeks ago, I’ve been saving it up) . It so wonderfully expresses the longing for Christ’s return that I want to have. I want to hunger for Christ in just this way — and not only for His second coming, but His daily coming into my life by His Holy Spirit. If I yearned this much for His coming, I would more readily throw off anything and everything that gets in the way of deep intimacy with Christ. Thank you Fr. Al for the wonderful citations you find and post that edify so many of us!

***

St Symeon

Come, O true light!
Come, O eternal life!
Come, O hidden mystery!
Come, O indescribable treasure!
Come, O ineffable thing!
Come, O inconceivable person!
Come, O endless delight!
Come, O unsetting light!
Come, O true and fervent expectation
of all those who will be saved!
Come, O rising of those who lie down!
Come, O resurrection of the dead!
Come, O powerful one,
who always creates and re-creates and transforms
by your will alone!
Come, O invisible and totally intangible and untouchable!
Come, O you who always remain immobile
and at each moment move all,
and come to us, who lie in hades,
you who are above all heavens.
Come, O desirable and legendary name,
which is completely impossible for us
to express what you are or to know your nature.
Come, O eternal joy!
Come, O unwithering wreath!
Come, O purple of the great king our God!
Come, O crystalline cincture,
studded with precious stones!
Come, O inaccessible sandal!
Come, O royal robe
and truly imperial right hand!
Come, you whom my wretched soul
has desired and does desire!
Come, you who alone go to the lonely
for as you see I am lonely!
Come, you who have separated me from everything
and made me solitary in this world!
Come, you who have become yourself desire in me,
who have made me desire you,
the absolutely inaccessible one!
Come, O my breath and life!
Come, O consolation of my humble soul!
Come, O my joy, my glory, and my endless delight!
I thank you that you have become one spirit with me,
without confusion, without mutation,
without transformation, you the God of all;
and that you have become everything for me,
inexpressible and perfectly gratuitous nourishment,
which ever flows to the lips of my soul
and gushes out into the fountain of my heart,
dazzling garment which burns the demons,
purification which bathes me
with these imperishable and holy tears,
that your presence brings to those whom you visit.
I give you thanks that for me
you have become unsetting light
and non-declining sun;
for you who fill the universe with your glory
have nowhere to hide yourself.
No, you have never hidden yourself from anyone
but we are the ones who always hide from you,
by refusing to go to you;
but then, where would you hide,
you who nowhere find the place of your repose?
Why would you hide,
you who do not turn away from a single creature,
who do not reject a single one?
Today, then, O Master,
come pitch your tent with me;
until the end, make your home
and live continually, inseparably within me,
your slave, O most-kind one,
that I also may find myself again in you,
at my departure from this world
and after my departure may I reign with you,
O God who are above everything.
O Master, stay and do not leave me alone,
so that my enemies,
arriving unexpectedly,
they who are always seeking to devour my soul,
may find you living within me
and that they may take flight,
in defeat, powerless against me,
seeing you, O more powerful than everything,
installed interiorly in the home of my poor soul.
Yea, O Master, just as you remembered me,
when I was in the world
and, in the midst of my ignorance,
you chose me and separated me from this world
and set me before your glorious face,
so now keep me interiorly,
by your dwelling within me,
forever upright, resolute;
that by perpetually seeing you,
I, the corpse, may live;
that by possessing you,
I, the beggar, may always be rich,
richer than kings;
that by eating you and by drinking you,
by putting you on at each moment,
I go from delight to delight
in inexpressible blessings;
for it is You, who are all good and
all glory and all delight
and it is to you,
holy, consubstantial, and life-creating Trinity
that the glory belongs,
you whom all faithful venerate, confess, adore, and serve
in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

St Symeon the New Theologian

***

Some personal comments to add as I reflect on this wonderful ancient hymn / prayer:  Ever since Father Al first posted this, I’ve found myself particularly struck by this section at the end:

so now keep me interiorly,
by your dwelling within me,
forever upright, resolute;
that by perpetually seeing you,
I, the corpse, may live;
that by possessing you,
I, the beggar, may always be rich,
richer than kings;
that by eating you and by drinking you,
by putting you on at each moment,
I go from delight to delight

in inexpressible blessings;
for it is You, who are all good and
all glory and all delight

This to my mind echos for me the passage from Romans 13 in the Advent lectionary and the call to cast off the works of darkness and to put on Christ. How much more readily we might be faithful to the apostle’s call if we could sense that putting on Christ would fill us with such delight upon delight. How much more eager we are to cast off the works of darkness when we have an unshakeable conviction in God’s goodness and glory, such that we desire Him above all things, even the pleasures or convenience of our sins, even as Moses desired His reward more than the luxuries and privileges of Pharaoh’s court:

Heb 11:24-26
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (NIV)

Author and theologian John Piper once wrote this about Jonathan Edwards’ teaching, and much of John Piper’s teaching (especially his book “Future Grace”) is based on this concept:

Edwards argued that it is essential that sin be defeated by the promise of superior pleasure in God. Will-power will not suffice. Even when it “succeeds,” will-power religion gets glory for the will, not God. It produces legalists, not lovers.

St. Symeon is clearly among those who was a lover of Christ. May we be also.


A good short video message on Advent: Canon Phil Ashey

December 13, 2014

A short 5 minute video reflection focused on the Advent Collect.  Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council focuses on how Advent challenges us to choose an identity firmly rooted in Christ:

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.


An Advent prayer by Christine Sine

December 11, 2014

I have been remiss in not linking enough this Advent to many wonderful resources, reflections and prayers posted by Christine Sine at Godspace.  Here is one of her illustrated Advent prayers posted at her facebook page recently.

Christine Sine Advent prayer

The final three lines of the prayer resonate deeply with my heart…

Let us come and remember what has been fulfilled.

Let us prepare for what must yet be done.

Let us come to the One who waits to show us love.

So as we come to Christ today, may our time with Him have that threefold focus:

1) REMEMBERING all the promises that have been fulfilled in Him (which gives us confidence and hope in Him regarding the promises which are still far off, unseen…)

2) PREPARING for the work He has given us to do while we wait for His appearing – asking Him for wisdom and direction, receiving His grace and strength…

3) REJOICING in His love, His open arms.  Enjoying our fellowship with Him and delighting in His presence.


%d bloggers like this: