Notable Feast Days this Week:

December 4 - John of Damascus, 749
December 5 - Crispina, Numidia, 304
December 6 - Abraham of Kratia, Bithynia, 558
December 7 - Ambrose of Milan, 397
December 7 - Africans Martyred by Vandals, 429-532 (Eastern)
December 8 - Immaculate Conception of Mary (Roman Catholic)
December 9 - Conception of the Theotokos (Eastern)

Revised Common Lectionary

Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8

Daily Readings

Liturgical Color - Purple/Blue

--- The Second Week of Advent --- December 10, 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).
Advent Continues...
This is a season for waiting and cultivating an awareness of God’s promises.

Past, present, and future.

Hear the Prophets speak.

In Advent, we sharpen our gaze in anticipation.
Christ has come, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

"Old verities give way at his arrival...Caesar trembles, empires topple, and the earth shakes. For those tied to the old age and its gods, its armies, its delusions of immortality, its false securities, the arrival of the Son of Man is bad news. `Apocalypse now,' cry the prophets of doom. Let us put away these prophets, close our eyes and speak optimistically of tomorrow. But those who have watched, who have heeded the signs, who have never made peace with the status quo, who have lived as if there were no tomorrow prick up their ears, straighten, stand on tiptoes. The Anointed One comes, their redemption is near and the world's doom becomes their deliverance."
- William Willimon (Christian Century, Jan. 1, 1983).
The Four Candles
  • They represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, also the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.
  • This progression symbolizes our waiting experience. As the candles are lit, despair and the shadows of sin fall away. Each new candle reminds us that something is happening and that more is yet to come.
  • First candle = the candle of Expectation or Hope (or in some traditions, Prophecy).
  • Three candles are purple and one is pink.
  • Pink candle = the candle of Joy. It is lit on Third Sunday of Advent 
  • White candle = the Christ candle. It is lit on Christmas Eve and symbolizes the joy of Christ born as a human on Christmas Day.
  • "Circle of Light: Four Themes For Use With the Advent Wreath" - Article by Jan Luben Hoffman in Reformed Worship Magazine 
Advent Resources
Favorite Advent Devotionals
The Incarnation and the mystery of the Second Advent,"...comes to us as a Novum ["new thing"] which, when it becomes an object for us, we cannot incorporate in the series of our other objects, cannot compare with them, cannot deduce from their context, cannot regard as analogous with them. It comes to us as a datum with no point of connexion with any other previous datum. It becomes the object of our knowledge by its own power and not by ours. … In this bit of knowing we are not the masters but the mastered." -Karl Barth (Church Dogmatics, I/2, 172.) 
Psalm of the Week
Scripture Readings

 You, Lord, showed favor to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
 You forgave the iniquity of your people
    and covered all their sins...I will listen to what God the Lord says;
    he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
    but let them not turn to folly. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
    that his glory may dwell in our land...

Commentary on Psalm 85
AugustineCalvinSpurgeonJohn Paul II

Psalm 85, Isaiah 402 Peter 3, Mark 1

Isaiah 40:1-11
Comfort my people, salvation will come

2 Peter 3:8-15a
Wait for the Day of the Lord

Mark 1:1-8
John appears from the wilderness
Daily Readings
Revised Common Lectionary

Daily Readings
Book of Common Prayer

The Entire Bible in One Year
Practicing Prayer
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; 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 Prayer 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 Second Week of Advent (Year B) from 

Music for the Second Sunday of Advent | OCP Music LIturgy Podcast 

"Choral Anthems for Advent" from Reformed Worship Magazine

Ready the Way | by Curtis Stephans | Leadsheets

Ready My Heart | by Lois Farley Shuford | Leadsheets

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

The Kingdom Comes | by Josh Blakesley and Sarah Hart

Savior of the Nations, Come | Leadsheet 

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus | by Charles Wesley (1744)

Wait for the Lord | Taize Melody | Leadsheet 

Come Light Our Hearts | by Sandra McCraken | Leadsheet

Psalm 85 Refrain | By Wendell Kimbrough

Psalm 85 (Tune: Here is Love Vast as the Ocean) | Scottish Metered Psalm |Leadsheet 

Psalm 85 Anglican Chant Anglican Chant Psalter

Psalm 85 Metrical options
Commentary on Mark 1:1-8
"John called for the baptism of repentance to prepare the way for the Lord. He himself led in that way by means of the sign and seal of repentance for all whom God was calling through grace to inherit the promise surely made to Abraham.… He called us to purge our minds of whatever impurity error had imparted, whatever contamination ignorance had engendered, which repentance would sweep and scour away, and cast out. So prepare the home of your heart by making it clean for the Holy Spirit.​"

Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240 AD)
More Historic Commentary (View and Download)...
Music for Listening (Advent)
Thematic Art 
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