First Sunday of Advent, 2014
Blessed New Year!
And Blessed “Stir up Sunday!”
This is a good day to “stir up” a plum pudding or fruitcake to age for Christmas.
Let each family member give it a good stir,
symbolizing the need to stir up our hearts
to prepare a celebration worthy of the coming of so great a King.
Today we turn a corner in our climb up the mountain of the Lord,
coming around again to a familiar season, at a new height…
To You, I lift up my soul, O my God.
In You I have trusted;
let me not be put to shame.
Nor let my enemies exult over me;
and let none who hope in You be put to shame.
(cf. Psalm 25:1-3)
Grant Your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet Your Christ
with righteous deeds at His coming,
so that, gathered at His right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Isaiah 63:16-17, 19; 64:2-7 (O that You would rend the heavens and come down!)
Psalm 80:2, 3, 15-16, 18-19 “Lord, make us turn to You,
let us see Your face and we shall be saved”
I Corinthians 1:3-9 (God will strengthen us so that we will be blameless)
+ Mark 13:33-37 (Be on the watch–you do not know when the Lord will come)
has carried us away.
Our righteousness itself
a menstrous rag.
Our only hope
is in the One
Who makes the mountains
tremble at His touch.
We cry to Him!
You can remold us;
Potter, forming clay
and firing it
to make it strong.
You fill Your clay
with holy treasure,
to guard Your gift,
to keep it burning, growing, bright,
and so be blameless
at Your coming
of day or night.
What crookedness of mine especially endangers God’s spiritual treasures in me?
What distracts me from keeping watch?
What could help me remember?