Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Today is the Fourth and final Sunday of Advent. The waiting is almost over. The anticipation is high with Christmas (Christ-Mass) only four days away. This morning at Lake Murray Community Church May Lehnert lit the fourth candle, the Angel Candle during first service, and the Ladwig family lit it second service.

The Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Advent:
O LORD, raise up, we pray thee, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle for the Fourth Sunday in Advent: Philippians 4:4-7, ESV
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Advent: Saint John 1:19-28, ESV:
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” 24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

If I could have anything I wanted this Christmas, it would be to attend church on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day. Christmas just doesn't seem like Christmas without worshiping with the Body of Christ. Lake Murray Community Church is holding a 6 P.M. candlelight Christmas Eve service, and Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity is hosting the traditional Lessons and Carols service at 6:00 P.M. and a Christmas Eve service at 6:30 P.M., and Jonathan has been asked to play guitar for both Anglican services. But with Keith's family over on Christmas Eve and family commitments on Christmas Day, it hasn't worked out for us to attend for several years. I really hate the thought of missing out again. Major sigh....

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