Notable Feast Days this Week:

December 16 - The Prophet Haggai (Eastern)
December 17 - The Prophet Daniel (Eastern/Lutheran)
December 18 - Gatian, Bishop of Tours
December 19 - Adam and Eve (Lutheran)
December 20 - Ignatius of Antioch, 115 (Eastern)
December 21 - St. Thomas, Apostle (Anglican, Lutheran)
December 22 - Anastasia, Martyr, 304 (Eastern, Roman Dec. 25)

Revised Common Lectionary

Isaiah 7:10-16
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-25

Daily Readings (RCL)
Liturgical Color - Purple/Blue

----- Fourth Sunday of Advent ----- December 22, 2019 (Year A)
God with Us 
"Isaiah foretold the conception and birth of Jesus as a miraculous sign to us (Isaiah 7:10-16), the way in which God would restore us to salvation (Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19). God gives us grace through Jesus Christ, his Son (Romans 1:1-7), who was born of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18-25)."
- Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional
Drawing Near...
The air is thick with expectation. We enter this story with awe and hope. Just like Mary and Joseph, we are waiting in anticipation for the mystery to be further revealed. We are preparing for God's presence among us. The mystery of God clothed in helpless human flesh is at the heart of faith. Like Mary, we must humbly receive his presence and salvation.

The "O" Antiphons 
Many Western Christian traditions make use of the "O" antiphons during this final week of Advent. These prayers, or congregational responsorials, are recited beginning on December 17. Each prayer addresses Jesus using different names like "O Radiant Dawn" and "O Wisdom." The Advent hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" contains words from each of the "O" antiphons. The tradition of singing and reciting these prayers has been with the church for well over 1500 years.
December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)
December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
December 21: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
December 23: O Emmanuel (O With Us is God)
Los Posadas 
Hispanic cultures in Mexico and the USA take time this week to re-enact the story of Mary and Joseph as they search for lodging and a place to give birth. A couple may dress up and go door to door in their neighborhood asking for a place to board for the night. They knock on the door and are then turned away after requesting posada ...a place to stay. This drama ends at a home designated to let them inside. Upon entering, carols are sung and the story is read from the Bible. Sorrow begins to turn to joy, even as all are reminded that the Savior was turned away before his birth.   

Advent Quote
“Advent is the time of promise; it is not yet the time of fulfillment. We are still in the midst of everything and in the logical inexorability and relentlessness of destiny.…Space is still filled with the noise of destruction and annihilation, the shouts of self-assurance and arrogance, the weeping of despair and helplessness. But round about the horizon the eternal realities stand silent in their age-old longing. There shines on them already the first mild light of the radiant fulfillment to come. From afar sound the first notes as of pipes and voices, not yet discernable as a song or melody. It is all far off still, and only just announced and foretold. But it is happening, today.”
Advent Resources
Daily Advent Readings
Liturgical Meditation | Advent | Fuller Studio
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, Jerome Creach

Psalm 80, Isaiah 7,
Romans 1, Matthew 1

Spotify Playlist
Psalm 80

Isaiah 7:10-16
A virgin will conceive and give birth to Emmanuel.

Romans 1:1-7
Jesus is the descendant of David and Son of God. We belong to Him.

Matthew 1:18-25
Joseph has a dream about Emmanuel and takes Mary as his wife. 
Daily Readings
Revised Common Lectionary

Daily Readings
Book of Common Prayer

Bible in a Year
Lectionary Resources  
"Do not speculate beyond the text. Do not require of it something more than what it simply says. Do not ask, “But precisely how was it that the Spirit accomplished this in a virgin?” For even when nature is at work, it is impossible fully to explain the manner of the formation of the person. How then, when the Spirit is accomplishing miracles, shall we be able to express their precise causes? Lest you should weary the writer or disturb him by continually probing beyond what he says, he has indicated who it was that produced the miracle. He then withdraws from further comment. “I know nothing more,” he in effect says, “but that what was done was the work of the Holy Spirit.” -Chrysostom
Collect for the Fourth Week of Advent 
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
-from The Book of Common Prayer
Singing Psalms and Hymns
Hymn Suggestions for the Fourth Week of Advent from 

Singing Scripture: Suggestions for singing the readings for Advent and Christmas 

Hymns related to Psalm 80 from

CCLI Contemporary Liturgy Song Select (Advent 4) 

Psalm 80 | by Sons of Korah | Chord Chart

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) | SATB 

O Israel's Shepherd, Hear Our Pleading (Psalm 80) | Genevan Psalter | SATB

Restoration (Psalm 80) | by James Block | Chord Chart 

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence | Arranged by Lowana Wallace - Porter | Leadsheet

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence | Arranged by Justin and Tiffany Brooks | Leadsheet  

Shine On Us | by Deborah D. and Michael W. Smith | Choral Arrangement

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

In the Bleak Midwinter | Arranged by Keith and Christine Getty | Leadsheets

He Has Done Great Things (Magnificat) | by Philip Majorins | Leadsheet | Capo

Advent Gloria | by Bobby Krier (Castle Island Hymns) | Leadsheet 

Psalm 80 Refrain | from The Emergent Psalter Leadsheet

Psalm 80 | Metrical Options
Music for Listening
Thematic Art 
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