Advent Prayers – Dec. 6

Nicholas of Myra (Fourth Century) 

The original “Old St. Nick” who inspired the tradition of Santa Claus, Nicholas was bishop of Myra in fourth-century Turkey. Little is known about his life except that he entrusted himself to Jesus at an early age and, when his parents died, gave all of their possessions to the poor. While serving as bishop, Nicholas learned of three girls who were going to be sold into slavery by their father. Moved to use the church’s wealth to ransom the lives of these little ones, he tossed three bags of gold through the family’s window. We recall this ancient Christmas gift, even as we remember that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year in the global sex trade today.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us bow down and bend the knee: let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

Song “The Kingdom of God”

Remember your little ones, Lord: and give us courage to stand for them.

Psalm 33:18 –21

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him: on those who wait upon his love, to pluck their lives from death: and to feed them in time of famine. Our soul waits for the LORD : he is our help and our shield. Indeed, our heart rejoices in him: for in his holy name we put our trust. Remember your little ones, Lord: and give us courage to stand for them.

1st Reading

Isaiah 3:8 –15

Yes, Jerusalem has stumbled
    and Judah has fallen,
        because the way they talk and act in word and deed insults the Lord,
        defying his brilliant glory.
Their bias in judgment gives them away;
    like Sodom, they display their sins in public.
    Doom to them, for they have done themselves in!
Tell the righteous how blessed they are;
    they will eat the fruit of their labors.
Doom to the wicked; they are evil.
    What they have done will be done to them.
As for my people—oppressors strip them
    and swindlers rule them.
My people—your leaders mislead you and confuse your paths.

The Lord arises to accuse;
    he stands to judge the peoples.
The Lord will enter into judgment
    with the elders and princes of his people:
You yourselves have devoured the vineyard;
    the goods stolen from the poor are in your houses.
How dare you crush my people
    and grind the faces of the poor?
    says the Lord God of heavenly forces.

2nd Reading

Luke 21:5 –19

Some people were talking about the temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and ornaments dedicated to God. Jesus said, “As for the things you are admiring, the time is coming when not even one stone will be left upon another. All will be demolished.”

They asked him, “Teacher, when will these things happen? What sign will show that these things are about to happen?”

Jesus said, “Watch out that you aren’t deceived. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the one!’ and ‘It’s time!’ Don’t follow them. When you hear of wars and rebellions, don’t be alarmed. These things must happen first, but the end won’t happen immediately.”

Then Jesus said to them, “Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other.There will be great earthquakes and wide-scale food shortages and epidemics. There will also be terrifying sights and great signs in the sky. But before all this occurs, they will take you into custody and harass you because of your faith. They will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will provide you with an opportunity to testify. Make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance. I’ll give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to counter or contradict. You will be betrayed by your parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, and friends. They will execute some of you. Everyone will hate you because of my name. Still, not a hair on your heads will be lost. By holding fast, you will gain your lives.

Remember your little ones, Lord: and give us courage to stand for them.

Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army and a passionate advocate for children, said, “There is no improving the future without disturbing the present.”

Prayers for Others 

Our Father

Lord Jesus Christ, you welcomed the little children to come unto you and invited us to come like them. Help us see how we can welcome children as you have welcomed us into your body. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

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Advent Prayers – Dec. 4

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. 
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. 

Come, let us sing to the LORD: let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation. 

Song “Magnificat” https://youtu.be/6_iixWJo-7k

Praise to you who lift up the poor: and fill the hungry with good things. 

Psalm 22:22–25 Praise the LORD, you that fear him: stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob’s line, give glory. For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them: but when they cry to him he hears them. My praise is of him in the great assembly: I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him. The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the LORD shall praise him: “May your heart live for ever!” 

Praise to you who lift up the poor: and fill the hungry with good things. 

Isaiah 2:1 –11  

Peace that Lasts Forever

This is the message that I was given about Judah and Jerusalem: 

In the future, the mountain 

with the Lord’s temple 

will be the highest of all. 

It will reach above the hills; 

every nation will rush to it. 

Many people will come and say, 

“Let’s go to the mountain 

of the Lord God of Jacob 

and worship in his temple.” 

The Lord will teach us his Law 

from Jerusalem, 

and we will obey him. 

He will settle arguments 

between nations. 

They will pound their swords 

and their spears 

into rakes and shovels; 

they will never make war 

or attack one another. 

People of Israel, let’s live 

by the light of the Lord.
Our Lord, you have deserted 

your people, Israel, 

because they follow customs 

of nations from the east. 

They worship Philistine gods 

and are close friends 

of foreigners.  

They have endless treasures 

of silver and gold; 

they have countless horses 

and war chariots. 

Everywhere in the country 

they worship the idols 

they have made. 

And so, all of them 

will be ashamed and disgraced. 

Don’t help them!
Every one of you, 

go hide among the rocks 

and in the ground, 

because the Lord is fearsome, 

marvelous, and glorious. 

When the Lord comes, 

everyone who is proud 

will be made humble, 

and the Lord alone 

will be honored.

Luke 20:27 –40 

The Sadducees did not believe that people would rise to life after death. So some of them came to Jesus and said: 

Teacher, Moses wrote that if a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry the widow. Their first son would then be thought of as the son of the dead brother. 

 There were once seven brothers. The first Lord is the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” So the Lord isn’t the God of the dead, but of the living. This means that everyone is alive as far as God is concerned. married that woman and died without having any children. At last the woman died. When God raises people from death, whose wife will this woman be? All seven brothers had married her. 

 Jesus answered: 

The people in this world get married. But in the future world no one who is worthy to rise from death will either marry or die. They will be like the angels and will be God’s children, because they have been raised to life. 

 In the story about the burning bush, Moses clearly shows that people will live again. He said, “The Lord is the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. ” So the Lord isn’t the God of the dead, but of the living. This means that everyone is alive as far as God is concerned.

Praise to you who lift up the poor: and fill the hungry with good things. 

Commenting on the activities of the early church, Roman Emperor Julian said, “The godless Galileans feed our poor in addition to their own.” 

Prayers for Others 

Our Father Lord, keep us from trying to distinguish between the deserving and the undeserving poor. Help us work to alleviate suffering and injustice wherever we find it, trusting that the rest is up to you. Amen. 

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

Daily Advent Prayers – Dec. 2

Story – El Salvadorian Missionaries

In 1980 Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel, and Jean Donovan were murdered by officers of the Salvadoran military. Missionaries serving among the poor during El Salvador’s civil war, these women knew, as Ita Ford said the night before she died, that “one who is committed to the poor must risk the same fate as the poor.” Their deaths affected the North American church deeply, galvanizing opposition to US support for the Salvadoran government’s repression of its people.

Call to Praise

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let ups bow down and bend the knee: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

Play “Were you there?”

O Lord, listen to the song: of your saints who cry, “How long?”

Psalms 12:1-5

Help me, LORD, for there is no godly one left: the faithful have vanished from among us. Everyone speaks falsely with his neighbor: with a smooth tongue they speak from a double heart. Oh, that the LORD would cut off all smooth tongues: and close the lips that utter proud boasts! Those who say, “With our tongue will we prevail: our lips are our own; who is lord over us?” “Because the needy are oppressed, and the poor cry out in misery: I will rise up,” says the LORD, “and give them the help they long for.”

O Lord, listen to the song: of your saints who cry, “How long?”

Call to Discipleship

Old Testament Reading

Isaiah 1:10-20

Hear the Lord’s word, you leaders of Sodom.

   Listen to our God’s teaching,

       people of Gomorrah!

What should I think about all your sacrifices?

   says the Lord.

I’m fed up with entirely burned offerings of rams

   and the fat of well-fed beasts.

   I don’t want the blood of bulls, lambs, and goats.

When you come to appear before me,

   who asked this from you,

   this trampling of my temple’s courts?

Stop bringing worthless offerings.

   Your incense repulses me.

New moon, sabbath, and the calling of an assembly—

   I can’t stand wickedness with celebration!

I hate your new moons and your festivals.

   They’ve become a burden that I’m tired of bearing.

When you extend your hands,

   I’ll hide my eyes from you.

Even when you pray for a long time,

   I won’t listen.

Your hands are stained with blood.

   Wash! Be clean!

Remove your ugly deeds from my sight.

   Put an end to such evil;

   learn to do good.

Seek justice:

   help the oppressed;

   defend the orphan;

   plead for the widow.

Come now, and let’s settle this,

   says the Lord.

Though your sins are like scarlet,

   they will be white as snow.

If they are red as crimson,

   they will become like wool.

If you agree and obey,

   you will eat the best food of the land.

But if you refuse and rebel,

   you will be devoured by the sword.

The Lord has said this.

New Testament Reading

Luke 20:9-18

Jesus told the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, rented it to tenant farmers, and went on a trip for a long time. When it was time, he sent a servant to collect from the tenants his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants sent him away, beaten and empty-handed. The man sent another servant. But they beat him, treated him disgracefully, and sent him away empty-handed as well. He sent a third servant. They wounded this servant and threw him out. The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I’ll send my son, whom I love dearly. Perhaps they will respect him.’ But when they saw him, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him so the inheritance will be ours.’ They threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What will the owner of the vineyard do to them?He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”

When the people heard this, they said, “May this never happen!”

Staring at them, Jesus said, “Then what is the meaning of this text of scripture: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone? Everyone who falls on that stone will be crushed. And the stone will crush the person it falls on.”

O Lord, listen to the song: of your saints who cry, “How long?”

Prayer of Intercession

Ita Ford wrote, “The reasons why so many people are being killed are quite complicated, yet there are some clear, simple strands. One is that people have found a meaning to live, to sacrifice, struggle, and even die. And whether their life spans sixteen years, sixty, or ninety, for them their life has had a purpose. In many ways, they are fortunate people.”

Prayers for others

The Disciples Prayer – Matt 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

   on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

   as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

   but deliver us from the evil one.’

Lord, it was not enough for you to care for the poor. You chose to become one of them by descending as you did. Keep us free from fear and selfish preoccupations that we may walk as you walked among the poor, sick, and dying in body and spirit. Amen.

Going out Together

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness; protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may be bring you home rejoicing; once again into our doors.

This was taken from “Common Prayer: A liturgy for ordinary radicals” with permission.

Daily Advent Prayers – Dec 1.

images-5

Story – Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916)

While working in the North African desert after a dishonourable discharge from military service, Charles de Foucauld was impressed the the piety of Muslims and experienced a dramatic recovery of his Christian faith.

He spent a number or years in a Trappist monastery before hearing that call to a new monasticism among the working poor. “I no longer want a monastery which is too secure,” he wrote. “I want a small monastery, like the house of a poor workman who is note sure if tomorrow he will fins work and bread, who with all his being shared the suffering of the world.”

Though Foucault died in solitude, the Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, inspired by his life and witness, have started communities or service among the poor and outcast around the world.

Call to Praise

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let ups bow down and bend the knee: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

Play the “Servant Song”

May we cry the gospel from the rooftops: both with our words and with our lives.

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet

May we cry the gospel from the rooftops: both with our words and with our lives.

Call to Discipleship

Old Testament Reading

Isaiah 1:1-9

he vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth!
    For the Lord has spoken:
“I reared children and brought them up,
    but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its master,
    the donkey its owner’s manger,
but Israel does not know,
    my people do not understand.”

Woe to the sinful nation,
    a people whose guilt is great,
a brood of evildoers,
    children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the Lord;
    they have spurned the Holy One of Israel
    and turned their backs on him.

Why should you be beaten anymore?
    Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
    your whole heart afflicted.
From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
    there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
    and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
    or soothed with olive oil.

Your country is desolate,
    your cities burned with fire;
your fields are being stripped by foreigners
    right before you,
    laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.
Daughter Zion is left
    like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut in a cucumber field,
    like a city under siege.
Unless the Lord Almighty
    had left us some survivors,
we would have become like Sodom,
    we would have been like Gomorrah

New Testament Reading

Luke 20:1-8

One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”

He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the peoplewill stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”

So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

May we cry the gospel from the rooftops: both with our words and with our lives.

Prayer of Intersession

Charles de Foucauld prayed, “Father, I abandon myself into your hands, do with me what you will. For whatever you ma do, I thank you. I am ready for all, I accept all, let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.”

Prayers for others

Matt 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.’

Sometimes, Lord, it takes witnessing another person’s commitment for us to realize our own lack of faith. Open our eyes to learn, even from strangers who inhabit other faith traditions, what it means to be committed to you. Amen.

Going out Together

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness; protect you through the storm; may be bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may be bring you home rejoicing; once again into our doors.

 

This was taken from “Common Prayer: A liturgy for ordinary radicals” with permission.