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Advent Prayer link
Oh, Jesus, you hold the key
that will unlock my constricted heart.
It gives me great hope
that Mary said yes to you and your plan.
She was filled with the Spirit
and put aside her own doubts.
I know you are ready to answer my prayers,
ease my doubts and calm my fears.
Sometimes I don’t hear your messengers
because they aren’t what I expect.
They aren’t wearing wings or halos
but are the people standing in front of me.
How many times have I not listened?
How often have I balked at your messages
and your messengers?
Fill me with the light of your Spirit
and enter, in all your glory
into my life.
Let me rejoice!
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
Advent Prayer link
O Jesus, in an empty desert your prophet John proclaimed: God is here, at your side.
God has come to bring about a kingdom where injustice and suffering will be no more,
where tears will be wiped away, and where those who turn to God will feast at a banquet.
“Turn now, your God is standing at your side. Reform your lives, God’s kingdom is at hand.”
In an empty desert John said these things.
Give me faith like John’s, O Lord, strong enough to believe even in a desert
that you and your kingdom are no farther from me than my hand.
Make my heart strong like his, not swayed by trials or snared by false pleasures.
Give me courage to be faithful until your promises are fulfilled.
O King of all nations, Jesus Christ,
only joy of every heart,
come and save your people.
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 4:10-22 (NASB Bible Gateway)
So the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent; and the slaughter was very great, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
Now a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road eagerly watching, because his heart was trembling for the ark of God. So the man came to tell it in the city, and all the city cried out. When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, “What does the noise of this commotion mean?” Then the man came hurriedly and told Eli. Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were set so that he could not see. The man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battle line. Indeed, I escaped from the battle line today.” And he said, “How did things go, my son?” Then the one who brought the news replied, “Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has also been a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been taken.” When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell off the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for he was old and heavy. Thus he judged Israel forty years.
Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’s wife, was pregnant and about to give birth; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. And she called the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband. She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken.”
Anglican Advent Collect link
O God, who wonderfully created,
and yet more wonderfully restored,
the dignity of human nature:
Grant that we may share
the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity,
your Son Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Benediction and Celebration:
Isaiah 9:6 (Bible Gateway-KJV)
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.