First Thursday in Advent

July 30, 2011 — Leave a comment

OPENING

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

O LORD, You are our Father;
we are the clay, and You are our potter;
we are all the work of Your hand.  (Is. 64:8)
Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all his troubles.  (Psalm 25:19-22)
Be not so terribly angry, O LORD,
and remember not iniquity forever.
Behold, please look, we are all Your people.  (Is. 64:9)

O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth will declare Your praise.  (Psalm 51:15)
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
Make haste to help me, O Lord.  (Psalm 70:1)

Glory be to the Father and to the + Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and will be forever amen.

Lord You have declared that there is no distinction among us for we have all sinned and fallen short of Your righteousness.  You have also declared that a broken and contrite heart You will not despise.  You have promised that we are made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ.  Father, we believe and there are confessions to be made and repentance to be sought.  For Jesus’ sake forgive us, renew us and lead to life everlasting with You; even if that means that we are to be broken upon our own crosses’ daily.  Amen.

If you are using an advent wreath, light the first candle now.
Jesus Christ, You are the Light of the world that no darkness can overcome; for darkness is as light with You.  Keep us from sin and straighten our path, so that we may be prepared for Your coming.  Amen.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  (Rev. 21:1-2)

MEDITATION

From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee
Martin Luther, 1483-1546, tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-78, alt.
Stanzas 1-3

1
From depths of woe I cry to Thee,
In trial and tribulation;
Bend down Thy gracious ear to me,
Lord, hear my supplication.
If Thou rememb’rest ev’ry sin,
Who then could heaven ever win
Or stand before thy presence?
2
Thy love and grace alone avail
To blot out my transgression;
The best and holiest deeds must fail
To break sin’s dread oppression.
Before Thee none can boasting stand,
But all must fear Thy strict demand
And live alone by mercy.
3
Therefore my hope is in the Lord
And not in mine own merit;
It rests upon His faithful Word
To them of contrite spirit
That He is merciful and just;
This is my comfort and my trust.
His help I wait with patience.

SCRIPTURE

O Lord, have mercy on us.

A reading from the Prophet Jeremiah, the thirty-third chapter.

Thanks be to God.

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:  “Thus says the LORD: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time, then also my covenant with David my servant may be broken, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with the Levitical priests my ministers.  As the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the offspring of David my servant, and the Levitical priests who minister to me.”

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:  “Have you not observed that these people are saying, ‘The LORD has rejected the two clans that he chose’? Thus they have despised my people so that they are no longer a nation in their sight.  Thus says the LORD: If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed order of heaven and earth, then I will reject the offspring of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his offspring to rule over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.”  (Jeremiah 33:19-26)

In many and various ways, God spoke to His people by the prophets.
But now in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son.

PRAYERS

Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

O Lord hear my prayer.
And let my cry come to You.

Lord God of the Harvest who desires all people to be saved, use not Your winnowing fork in anger against Your people, though You are just so to do.  Lord God Heavenly Father You alone have appointed the final day and hour of this age, and to You alone is the final harvest known.  On that day no one will withstand Your holy gaze as all our secrets are made known.  Heavenly Father, who among us can stand alone on that day and endure Your anger?  Abba Father we call You now by Your grace given to us through faith in Christ alone, so that we will not stand alone on that day but be found as brothers and sisters, co-heirs with Your Son.  Remember now Your sons and daughters here, and through the ages, for Christ’s sake may we not squander our time but learn how to lay our lives down in love for our neighbors, even as Your Son did for us.  This we pray not for our salvation but for Your good pleasure that we love all others as we love ourselves and so proclaim You to be our God whom we love with all our heart mind and soul.  Let it be so dear Father for Jesus’ name sake.  Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Holy God, holy and most gracious Father
Have mercy and hear us.  Amen.

CLOSING

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.  Amen.

The Lord Almighty bless us and direct our days and our deeds in peace.  Amen.

All scripture passages are ESV

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