Second Saturday in Advent

December 9, 2011 — Leave a comment

OPENING

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

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!  (Psalm 66:1-2)
The Lord will save me,
and we will play my music on stringed instruments
all the days of our lives,
at the house of the Lord.  (Isaiah 38:20)
Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!  (Psalm 66:1-2)

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.

Father in Heaven, You are the giver of all good gifts, by Your grace may we be content with all that we have and not envy others for the things You have given them so that whether we stand in bounty or simplicity You may be glorified in us.  We praise You for the greatest of all gifts, Your Son Jesus Christ Who has shown us Your good and perfect will.  Glory to the Father we sing and glory to + Christ our King and glory be to the Holy Spirit, one God blessed Trinity, now and forevermore.  Amen.

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

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  (Revelation 21:3-4)

MEDITATION

The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord has long been foretold.  It came to fruition at our Lord’s incarnation, and yet paradoxically it will not come to its completion until His return.  Rather it is as if it began in a manger, followed the life of Jesus to His Great Work of Redemption upon the cross, the silence of the tomb, the glory of His resurrection and now lay in wait in the span of time between His ascension and return in glory at the end of the age.  Sin has now been put to death in Christ and His Gospel (the most specific understanding of God’s Promises) now reigns freely.  The Last enemy, Death itself, has been vanquished by Christ on the first Easter morn, and we now wait for its final dissolution when the dead are raised in Christ.

Throughout all ages God has spoken to His people in Laws and Promises.  Laws to show us our sins and convict us of our transgressions.  Laws that force us to turn and call upon God alone for our deliverance.  God’s Promises are of deliverance and the coming of the Messiah.  Promises to wipe away our sinfulness once and for all, restoring us to a relationship with God for all eternity, by His work and for His Name’s sake.  For what we could not accomplish ourselves, namely our salvation and reconciliation with the God, these He does Himself on our behalf.  Know that you are loved beyond question and doubt!

For a moment, set aside the cares of this life.  Clear your mind of the troubles of this past week and heart of the challenges of the week to come; and consider for a moment these words:

Why lies He in such mean estate Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear; for sinners here The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh, The babe, the son of Mary!
(Text: William C Dix, 1837-98)

In silence now, cast your cares and burdens on the Lord.  Entrust your hopes and dreams, even your very being to His care, even as you pray: Come Lord Jesus, come!
May the peace of the Lord rest upon you.

SCRIPTURE

O Lord, have mercy on us.

A reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians, the first chapter.

Thanks be to God.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.  For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.  And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.  (Philippians 1:2-11)

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 You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and ending of all things for You order all things that You have made and bring Your plans to completion unto the ages of ages.  You alone, Holy One of Israel, have made all things and You alone are God transcendent and separate from creation, for YOU ARE and all other things have their being and sustenance from You.  You alone are the God who creates, and is not created.  Father You hide Your Holy face from Your creation in mercy, for before Your face fallen humanity would perish forever.  Yet You are not distant and alien, for You sent Your Son in the likeness of human flesh to become our head.  By the blood of Jesus You do continually cleanse us, and in our baptisms You have sealed us in the death of Christ and keep us in Your care until all tombs are made empty.  Make our confession strong by faith until the day that all tongues confess that Jesus is Lord.  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.

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

CLOSING

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

The almighty and merciful Lord, the Father, the + Son, and the Holy Spirit bless and preserve us.  Amen.

All scripture passages are ESV

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