Category Archives: Advent

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2017 (Year B)

The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourth Week of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Nothing is Impossible for God
“The Lord was with David (2 Samuel 7:1-11,16); through his lineage and the Virgin Mary, the Son of God was born. Nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:26-38). Glory to his name (Romans 16:25-27), the Rock of our salvation (Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26).”
– Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Third Sunday of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Third Sunday of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Hold Fast to Good While Waiting for Redemption

“John prepared the way for Jesus Christ (John 1:6-8, 19-28). God has done great things for us (Psalm 126); he brings good tidings to the afflicted and loves justice (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11). Rejoice always, pray constantly, hold fast to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24).” – Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Second Sunday of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Second Week of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Comfort My People and Prepare the Way of the Lord 

God’s promise of redemption is rooted in his steadfast love and faithfulness (Psalm 85:1-3, 8-13). We quickly fade like flowers, but the eternal Word of God will save and renew his people (Isaiah 40:1-11). Prepare for his coming through repentance and expectation (Mark 1:1-8), for one day Christ will come again to renew creation and establish his righteous rule (2 Peter 3:8-15a).

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“Sunday Before Advent” by Christina Rossetti

Sunday Before Advent

The end of all things is at hand. We all
Stand in the balance trembling as we stand;
Or if not trembling, tottering to a fall.
The end of all things is at hand.

O hearts of men, covet the unending land!
O hearts of men, covet the musical,
Sweet, never-ending waters of that strand!

While Earth shows poor, a slippery rolling ball,
And Hell looms vast, a gulf unplumbed, unspanned,
And Heaven flings wide its gates to great and small,
The end of all things is at hand.

Christina Rossetti

Before 1893

Source: The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti (1904), Page 179.

 

 

Show Your Power and Mercy: A Prayer for Advent

Show your power and mercy
on all people who are bound
in the fetters of superstition
or the dreariness of unbelief, idolatry, false doctrine,
or utter careless ungodliness.
May Christ come also to them,
and establish among them
his kingdom of light, truth, and righteousness.
O eternal Father,
with your eternal Son and your Holy Spirit,
may you be praised and worshiped
at all times and in all places,
now and forever. Amen.

-Riga Prayer Book, 1707, from Prayers from the Collection of Baron Bunsen. Based on the translation of Catherine Winkworth and found in Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage by Paul C. Stratman.

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – First Week of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – First Week of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Our Faithful Savior Will Come Again

“Our awe-inspiring heavenly Father knows our sins (Isaiah 64:1-9). Restore us, O Lord God, that we may be saved (Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19). God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:3-9). We must keep an ever-present watch, for Jesus is coming again (Mark 13:24-37).”

-Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

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“Advent” by Christina Rossetti

Advent

This Advent moon shines cold and clear,
These Advent nights are long;
Our lamps have burned year after year,
And still their flame is strong.
“Watchman, what of the night?” we cry,
Heart-sick with hope deferred:
“No speaking signs are in the sky,”
Is still the watchman’s word.

The Porter watches at the gate,
The servants watch within;
The watch is long betimes and late,
The prize is slow to win.
“Watchman, what of the night?” but still
His answer sounds the same:
“No daybreak tops the utmost hill,
Nor pale our lamps of flame.”

One to another hear them speak,
The patient virgins wise:
“Surely He is not far to seek,”–
“All night we watch and rise.”
“The days are evil looking back,
The coming days are dim;
Yet count we not His promise slack,
But watch and wait for Him.”

One with another, soul with soul,
They kindle fire from fire:
“Friends watch us who have touched the goal.”
“They urge us, come up higher.”
“With them shall rest our waysore feet,
With them is built our home,
With Christ.” “They sweet, but He most sweet,
Sweeter than honeycomb.”

There no more parting, no more pain,
The distant ones brought near,
The lost so long are found again,
Long lost but longer dear:
Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard,
Nor heart conceived that rest,
With them our good things long deferred,
With Jesus Christ our Best.

We weep because the night is long,
We laugh, for day shall rise,
We sing a slow contented song
And knock at Paradise.
Weeping we hold Him fast Who wept
For us,–we hold Him fast;
And will not let Him go except
He bless us first or last.

Weeping we hold Him fast to-night;
We will not let Him go
Till daybreak smite our wearied sight,
And summer smite the snow:
Then figs shall bud, and dove with dove
Shall coo the livelong day;
Then He shall say, “Arise, My love,
My fair one, come away.”

-Christina Rossetti, Poems, via Project Gutenberg e-book pg.84