Notable Feast Days this Week:

November 27 - James the Persian, c. 421
November 28 - Stephen the Younger
November 29 - Noah (Lutheran)
November 30 - St. Andrew, Apostle
December 1 - The Prophet Nahum
December 2 - The Prophet Habakkuk (Eastern)
December 3 - The Prophet Zephaniah (Eastern)
December 3 - Francis Xavier, 1552 (Lutheran/Roman)

Revised Common Lectionary

Isaiah 64:1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:24-37

Daily Readings

Liturgical Color - Purple/Blue

--- The First Week of Advent --- December 3, 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
Advent 2017
“Coming” or “Arrival”
During Advent, the Church turns its gaze toward the first and second comings of Jesus Christ. This season is an opportunity for Christians to prepare themselves for Christmas through longing and a renewed desire for God's rule in the midst of everyday life. Advent practices of prayer and repentance look back to remember the faithfulness of God revealed through the birth of Jesus, and forward to, “...the blessed hope of His glorious appearing." The story of our redemption starts with waiting and expectation:
That's why the church generally refrains from singing Christmas carols during Advent. That's why purple, the color of penitence, adorns our altar and the neck of your preacher. We dare not rush to greet the Redeemer prematurely until we pause here, in a darkened church, to admit that we do need redemption. Nothing within us can save us. Nothing can save us. We've tried that before. No president, no bomb, no new car, no bottle, no white Christmas can save. No! to all false consolation, we say. No! to the empty, contrived merriment of a terminal world. Our hope must be in someone out there who comes to us. We find our way only because One comes, takes our hand and leads us home -William Willimon (Christian Century. Jan. 1, 1984.)
  • Purple: The main color for the season communicates both the majesty that heralds the coming of the King of Kings and the waiting that precedes it.  
  • Green: An ancient symbol of immortality, life, and growth in Christ.
  • Circle: Symbolizes the eternal transcendence of God and life in Christ
  • Light: A symbol of God's presence
  • Darkness: A symbol of God's absence. Darkness is overcome by the arrival of Christ the Messiah (Isaiah 9:2, Romans 13:12). It also reminds us that we still wait for his Second Advent.
Advent Resources
"The presence of the Triune God among his people in this age truly is an adventus, a coming presence, a presence in absence and absence in presence." 
― from Michael Horton "Introducing Covenant Theology"
Psalm of the Week
Scripture Readings

 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
    you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might; come and save us.
 Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.


Commentary on Psalm 80
John Paul II

Psalm 80, Isaiah 64,
1 Corinthians 1, Mark 13

Isaiah 64:1-9
God will come with power and compassion

1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Gifts of grace sustain us

Mark 13:24-37
The coming of the Son of Man
Daily Readings
Revised Common Lectionary

Daily Readings
Book of Common Prayer

The Entire Bible in One Year
Practicing Prayer
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 
-from The Book of Common Prayer
Contemplative Prayer (View and Download)
Morning Prayer (View and Download)
Further Resources

Advent and Christmas Daily Prayer Book 2017-2018 (Presbyterian)
Morning and Evening Prayer (Church of England-Protestant)
Liturgy of the Hours and Sung Breviary (Roman Catholic)
Sung Morning Prayer by Calvin Peters (Eastern Orthodox)
Audio Prayer Meditation (Pray as You Go)
Psalm Spotify Playlist
Singing Psalms and Hymns
Hymn suggestions for the First Week of Advent (Year B) from 

Choral Anthems for Advent from Reformed Worship Magazine

"Ten Modern Arrangements for Advent" - An article by Philip Majorins in Reformed Worship Magazine (Sept. 2016)

Advent Hymn (The Lord Has Come to Dwell) | by Sarah Majorins | Leadsheet 

Savior of the Nations, Come | Leadsheet

Ready the Way | by Curtis Stephan

Wait for the Lord | Taize Melody | Leadsheet 

Come Light Our Hearts | by Sandra
McCraken | Leadsheet

Restore Us O God (Psalm 80) by Greg Scheer & Naaman Wood | Leadsheet

Psalm 80 (Tune: Bryn Calfaria) | Music by William Owen 1852 | Leadsheet |Leadsheet (Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor)

Restoration (Psalm 80) | by James Block | Chords on pg. 4 

Psalm 80 | by Sons of Korah | Chord Chart

Psalm 80 Refrain | from The Emergent Psalter Leadsheet

Psalm 80 Metrical options
Commentary on Mark 13:24-37

"If you examine this whole passage of Scripture from the inquiry of the disciples down to the parable of the fig tree, you will find that it makes sense at every point in connection with the coming of the Son of Man. He will bring both sorrow and joy. The Son of Man is coming in the midst of both calamities and promises, both the grief of nations and the longing of the saints. He is the common element in both. He who is common to both will end the one by inflicting judgment on the nations, and will commence the other by fulfilling the longings of the saints." 
Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240 AD)
More Historic Commentary (View and Download)...
Music for Listening (Advent)
Thematic Art 
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