December 1, 8, 15, 22
Advent comes from the Latin word “adventus” which means “coming” or “arrival.” It begins four Sundays before Christmas and lasts through Christmas Eve. Advent is a season of spiritual anticipation and preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ.
It is a time for celebration. However, it is also a time for penance. Christians acknowledge Advent not only as a way of remembering Christ’s first coming as a human baby, but also for his continued presence with us today through the Holy Spirit, and in anticipation for his final return.
December 1, 2019
Matthew 24:36-44 (NRSV)
But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were,so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
Isaiah 2:1-5 (NRSV)
The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains,and shall be raised above the hills;all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say,“ Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations,and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;nation shall not lift up sword against nation,neither shall they learn war any more. Judgment Pronounced on Arrogance. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!
December 8, 2019
Lessons & Carols
The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings or lessons from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir anthems.
December 15, 2019
Matthew 11:2-11 (NRSV)
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Isaiah 35:1-10 (NRSV)
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom;like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,and rejoice with joy and singing.The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.They shall see the glory of the Lord,the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands,and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart,“ Be strong, do not fear!Here is your God.He will come with vengeance,with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool,and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. A highway shall be there,and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there,but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
December 22, 2019
Matthew 1:18-25 (NRSV)
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:“ Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and they shall name him Emmanuel, ”which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
Isaiah 7:10-16 (NRSV)
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.