Day 273 | Thursday, 17 December 2020
An Advent Beginning:
“Clear away the unnecessary. Put aside the unimportant. Lay down the unrealistic. Keep your ears open for angel songs. Cut the lists in half. Practice saying "no thanks." Look for the moments of stillness. Keep your eyes looking for a star, your hands ready to give, your voice filled with song and your heart longing for joy.”
An Advent Invocation:
“Gracious God, out of the darkness you send a light; out of a lifeless stump you call forth a new shoot; out of the discord of our lives you proclaim a vision of peace.
May your Spirit rest upon us, that the hope which you inspire will be lived out in our lives. We pray this in the name of the One whose birth we prepare to celebrate, Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.”
An Advent Prayer of Confession:
“How long, O God, 'til we see your face? How long 'til refugees can go home in peace? How long 'til drive-bys, accidental shootings and gang violence leave our neighborhoods? How long must people be discriminated against because of the color of their skin, their accent, their age, their sexual orientation, their handicap, their gender, their appearance?
O God, we long for your coming, yet fear the changes you may require. Remind us, God, that sweet baby Jesus grew up and called us to new lives of compassion and justice. Shout in the midst of packages and parties that you come to free us from sin and make us new. Make us ready for Christmas. Walk with us this Advent. Amen.”
An Advent Prayer:
“Ancient of Days, who comes to us fresh as tomorrow and sure as dawn's bump of the horizon in early light, draw near now and wait with us. We wait for the return of glory, the advent of holy time, the birth of a child. Wait with us for the end of our regret, the rebirth of our joy, the time when old becomes new before our very eyes.
Renew us. Give us patience. Let us remember how sure it is that weeping only endures for the night and joy returns in the morning. Let us remember the depth of our sadness on other occasions, and how surely you bring us back to gladness.
Give us the patience of Advent, that we may be confident of Christmas but not rush it. Let time slow down now and, in holy patience, let us await you and your entrance into history, even our own. Amen.”
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
Stanza 6 “O Come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by thy justice here:
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.”
Antiphon 6 “O DAYSPRING, Brightness of the light eternal and Sun of justice: Come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”
Quote: “Into our midst comes Advent, representing not the end but the beginning of the church year; not the tying-up of all our loose ends, but God's opening up of our future. Its focus is not on all we have to do, but on all God has done, is doing and will do in the marvelous gift of Christ.” -Jean Cramer-Heuerman