Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Second Week of Advent....

On Sunday, we celebrated the Second Sunday of Advent. In our evangelical church (which differs from more liturgical churches), we light the Bethlehem Candle for the Second Week of Advent, and when the family who had agreed to light the candle couldn't make it, our family stepped in to light the two candles, the Prophecy Candle from last week and this week's Bethlehem Candle. T lit the candles while Keith read from the fifth chapter of Micah:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace.

In the Anglican tradition, the Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent is my favorite Collect of the entire liturgical year; in fact, it's my e-mail signature during Advent:

BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

So as our family gathers around our Advent wreath this week, we'll also be praying this prayer from another Advent resource:

O King of all nations, Jesus Christ, only joy of every heart, come and save your people. Amen.

May you and yours enjoy a blessed Advent as we focus our minds and hearts on the First Incarnation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, and prepare for His imminent Second Coming to judge both the living and the dead, rejoicing that His Kingdom will never end.

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