We live in a consumer culture.


Every year Christmas decorations go up a little earlier than the year before. “Black Friday” used to be the day business relied upon to get them “in the black” for the year. Now the sales begin before Halloween and keep going well after Cyber Monday. Christmas has been co-opted into the generic “Holiday Season” because it brings in even more sales.


In this context our congregation follows the traditional practice of celebrating the Christian season of Advent. From the Latin word adventus, the season of Advent begins four Sundays prior to Christmas and celebrates the mystery of the Lord’s arrival to the world. These Sundays are no more special or holy than any others. But since we, too, can be swept up into the spirit of the age with consumerism it is helpful for us to “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:16; KJV) by pausing and meditating on the coming of the eternal Son of God in human flesh.


Advent is a time of celebration in singing, praying, preaching, and catechizing (“instructing”) our children in the mysteries of the Faith into which they were baptized.


Advent is a time of participation as we join patriarchs and prophets in looking back upon the first coming of our Lord as we sing Psalms and ancient Advent hymns. 


Advent is a time of anticipation as we join the historic Christian Church in awaiting Jesus’ coming again as we cry out, maranatha, “Our Lord come!”

Readings

First Sunday in Advent: Genesis 1:1–2:3 [Creation]

Mon 3rd: Genesis 2:4–9, 15–17, 3:1–24 [Adam & Eve]

Tues 4th: Genesis 6:11–22, 7:17–8:12, 8:20–22, 9:8–17 [Noah]

Wed 5th: Genesis 12:1–7, 15:1–6 [Abraham]

Thurs 6th: Genesis 22:1–18 [Isaac]

Fri 7th: Genesis 28:10–22 [Jacob]

Sat 8th: Genesis 37:1–28, 50:15–21 [Joseph]


Second Sunday in Advent: Exodus 2:1–10, 3:1–10 [Moses]

Mon 10th: Exodus 14:1–31 [Exodus]

Tues 11th: Joshua 1:1–11 [Joshua]

Wed 12th: Judges 2:11–23 [Gideon]

Thurs 13th: 1 Samuel 3:1–21 [Samuel]

Fri 14th: 1 Samuel 16:1–13 [David]

Sat 15th: 1 Kings 18:1–40 [Elijah]


Third Sunday in Advent: 2 Kings 18:1–8 [Hezekiah]

Mon 17th: Isaiah 6:1–7 [Isaiah]

Tues 18th: Jeremiah 8:22–9:11 [Jeremiah]

Wed 19th: Nehemiah 1:1–11 [Nehemiah]

Thurs 20th: Luke 1:57–80 [John]

Fri 21st Luke 1:26–56 [Mary]

Sat 22nd: Luke 1:39–56 [Elizabeth]


Fourth Sunday in Advent: Luke 1:57–90 [Zechariah]

Christmas Eve Morning : Matthew 1:19–25 [Joseph]

Christmas Eve Evening: Matthew 2:1–12 [Magi]

Christmas Morning: Luke 2:1–20 [Jesus]

Christmas Evening: John 1:1–18 [Jesus]

Prayers

O Lord Jesus Christ, who in your first coming humbled yourself because of our sins; grant that at your second coming, since our sins are removed by your mercy, we may be numbered with your saints in glory; through your merits, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, ever one God, world without end. Amen.


O God, who by the mouth of your holy prophets promised that your only-begotten Son should come in the flesh for us, and be born of a pure virgin, and has in these last days fulfilled your word; grant that when he who came once to redeem the world comes to be our Judge, we may not be ashamed before him at his coming; through the merits of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


O God, our Heavenly Father, who sent your messengers to tell of the birth of your Son that people might believe in him; grant that, hearing you, we may repent of our sins and seek your heavenly inheritance, so that we who profess Christ may not be condemned before the glory of your majesty on the basis of our works, but accepted on the basis of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


O Lord, raise up your power and come to deliver us, that we, who are oppressed by temptations, may be so defended by your might, that the armies of the enemy may never prevail against us; hear us in your mercy, O Lord, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, ever one God, world without end. Amen.


These prayers come from ancient Hispania, now known to us as Spain. They link us to that great cloud of witnesses in the past and help us express profound biblical truths in heartfelt ways.