Third Monday in Advent

A week tonight is Christmas Eve.  All December I have felt like a person in the midst of a crowd  being carried forward with group momentum.  I search for a way out, but there are too many bodies to push past.  Do you know that feeling?  That longing to jump to the side and watch everyone else pass by for awhile.

This holy season, this time of Advent is so special to me.  I need the time to prepare. To think about the story.  To call back the wonder and magic.  To go to Bethlehem and search the skies for singing angels,  look for excited Shepherds and seek out the stable.  I want to be with that tiny babe.  I want to see his parents.  I want to offer my gift to this God-child.

This year, more than others, I think it is more of a need to find Jesus.  In the midst of this ever-hardening world that casts out the poor, that cuts care for those in need, that slashes budgets for education and health care, that tramples on hope and peace and twists our God into a vengeful hateful reflection of the worst in humanity, I NEED to find Jesus.

I need to find that sweet child, that gift of love from an all-loving God and place my focus there.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son…. John 3:16.  We know these words. Why do we not “get it.”  Why do we not show this good news by our lives and by our actions? Why do we not uphold the teaching and the new commandment given to us by the Son of God himself.  Love one another, Jesus told us.   Seriously.  LOVE each other.

What the heck is wrong with us?  Twitter shots.  Flaming on social media.  Meanness. Bullying.  Racism.  Sexism.  Ageism.  Homophobia.  Inequality.

Jesus, the one who Christians worship promoted love, tolerance, acceptance, welcome, compassion, openness, hospitality, friendship, joy….  That’s what we are called to do.

Jesus was not a blue-eyed white guy.  He was a swarthy middle-easterner.  He spoke a language very different from English.  He grew up in a world of great political turmoil and religious extremism.  He walked with those who were hungry, poor, lonely, destitute and oppressed.  He reached out to them and offered comfort, healing and peace.  He gave his life for all of us – so that we would “get it” – that death has no sting, that we are forgiven and loved, that God knows each of us deeply and loves us.  God sees our perfection, even if we cannot.

Jesus came to us.  To live and die like us.  To know our struggle and challenges.  To point us to truths and a way of life that is a pathway to happiness and joy.  He came to save us from our sins.  To bring us to a new understanding of our connectedness.  That message has really been hi-jacked, even by those who would call themselves Christian.

I need to meet that baby this year at Bethlehem.  We all do.  Darkness cannot stand in the light of His presence.  We need that light.  We need to share it.  We need to be beacons with the Christ light shining within us.

In this last week before Christmas, I invite you to set aside some time and in the quiet, let that light come to you.  Let it fill you.  Let it shine in you.  Let it speak to you of your worth, your value, the gift you are to this world.

Love came to us at Christmas.  Love comes to us each moment of our day.  Oh, how we need that Divine Love at work in our lives and in this world.

Come, let us adore him.

Here is today’s morning prayer service.

Third Sunday in Advent

Yes, I know.  Life has been crazy the past few days.  Mea Culpa.  However, today I can post three things for you to listen to and reflect upon.

My goal from now until Christmas is to do a deep dive into the quiet and beautiful rhythm of Advent.  My schedule is more clear and I plan to do some spiritual reading, work on some interesting projects and prepare my heart for the gift that comes at Christmas – Emmanuel.

What are you doing to make ready?  Are you feeling that joy and wonder that comes as we reflect on the story of the Nativity of Christ?  What do you need to do to get there?

I am so grateful to God.  That is my beginning point.  I pray that love and blessings touch your lives this day.  O come, let us adore that beautiful babe.

+Deb

For your listening pleasure – yesterday’s Prayer on the Go
https://www.spreaker.com/episode/16484334

Today’s Sunday Blogtalk Prayer Service:
http://tobtr.com/s/11116495

The Prayer Service for the Third Sunday in Advent
https://journeyingwithgodcom.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/7SunMorningAdvent.mp3

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And blessed be God’s kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

Trisagion (repeat three times)
Holy God,
holy and mighty,
holy immortal one,
have mercy upon us.

Collect
O God, who makes us glad with the yearly expectation of your coming: grant that we, who with joy receive your only begotten Son as our Redeemer, may without fear behold him when he shall come to be our Judge, even your Son our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Reading:   Luke 2:8-20

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.

And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The “O” Antiphons

O Wisdom (O Sapienta) O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly. Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

O Lord and Ruler (O Adonai) O Lord and Ruler of the house of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush, and on Mount Sinai gave him your Law. Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us.

O Root of Jesse (O Radix Jesse) O Root of Jesse, you stand for the ensign of all mankind; before you kings shall keep silence and to you all nations shall have recourse. Come, save us, and do not delay.

O Key of David (O Clavis David) O Key of David, Scepter of the house of Israel, you open and no man closes; you close and no man opens. Come, and deliver him from the chains of prison who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

O Rising Dawn (O Oriens) O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice; Come, enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.

O King of the Nations (O Rex Gentium) O King of the Gentiles, Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come, and save poor man whom you fashion out of clay.

O Emmanuel O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Expected of the nations and their Savior: Come, and save us, O Lord our God.

Reflective Prayer
Break forth, O beautiful morning light, and let the heaven dawn! Be not afraid, O shepherd folk, for the angel is telling you that this helpless little boy will be our comfort and joy, here for to conquer Satan and bring us peace at last!  – Johann von Rist (1607–67)

Intercessory Prayers
O Wisdom, from the mouth of the Most High, you reign over all things to the ends of the earth: come and teach us how to live. Lord Jesus, come soon!

O Lord, and head of the house of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and you gave the law on Sinai: come with outstretched arm and ransom us. Lord Jesus, come soon!

O Branch of Jesse, standing as a sign among the nations, all kings will keep silence before you and all peoples will summon you to their aid: come, set us free and delay no more. Lord Jesus, come soon!

O Key of David and sceptre of the house of Israel, you open and none can shut; you shut and none can open: come and free the captives from prison. Lord Jesus, come soon!

O Morning Star, splendour of the light eternal and bright Sun of righteousness: come and enlighten all who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death. Lord Jesus, come soon!

O King of the nations, you alone can fulfil their desires: Cornerstone, you make opposing nations one: come and save the creature you fashioned from clay. Lord Jesus, come soon!

O Emmanuel, hope of the nations and their Saviour: come and save us, Lord our God. Lord Jesus, come soon!

For yours is the majesty, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, now and for ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
now and for ever.
Amen.

O Lord. You are the light that guides my feet. You are the map that gives me direction.
You are the peace that makes me strong. You are the leader whom I faithfully follow.

May your light illuminate my life and your guidance bring direction.
May I find inspiration in your word and peace in my heart as I follow you. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and  the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!

Second Thursday in Advent

Okay. It is the afternoon.  I dropped my son off at work and the other son came along with me on an adventure to Niagara Falls.  I needed to get an order from Staples.  Our trip was more like one of those drawings from Family Circus.

Image result for family circusIt was so much fun.  Mount Carmel Gift shop, Value Village, Dollarama, a place called Treasure Hunt, Staples and some other spots along the way.  Didn’t spend a lot of money but had fun with my bargain hunting son, who scored a working polaroid camera (circa 1970s)  And now, as I sit here, I am reminded that I have been under the weather and perhaps I should nap for a bit.  Maybe even in my chair. lol

We’ll call this a prayer service.  It works in the morning but any time we pray, is a good thing.

Talk to you tomorrow,
+Deb

Morning Prayers for Thursday

We greet the Day

O Lord, open our lips:
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

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

Hear, O Israel

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no commandment greater than these.

Kyrie
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Collect
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. Amen.

The Song of Mary  Luke 1.46–55
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; *
for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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

Reading:  Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever.

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Psalm 97

1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.
7 All who worship images are put to shame,
those who boast in idols—
worship him, all you gods!
8 Zion hears and rejoices
and the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments, Lord.
9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.

Reflective Prayer
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
 and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
— St. Therese of Liseux

 

Intercessory Prayers
We  offer to God the prayers of our hearts-

Gracious God source of all love and fount of all blessing, your Son Jesus Christ promised that you will hear us when we ask in faith.  Confident in his word, we offer you our prayers.

We pray for our world, for the leaders of nations and all in authority, that everyone may live in peace and mutual trust, sharing with justice the resources of the earth. May your love guide each heart.
(offer personal prayers for the world, leaders, the planet)

We give thanks for our church and every faith community across the world. Encourage clergy and religious leaders to lead with compassion, mirroring your love and grace by their lives and teaching.

We offer to your care, merciful God, all who are in sorrow, sickness, discouragement or any other trouble. Give them patience and a firm trust in your goodness. Change lives today through your mighty healing touch and bring to know your loving presence at work in their lives.

We pray for our own needs and concerns, giving thanks that answers and resolution are already on their way to us.  Especially, we offer these concerns to you…….

We give thanks for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing. May they find comfort and hope in the joy of your promise that you will greet us at the last and take us to your Father’s house.

Hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Concluding prayers
Mother Mary, as you carried your dear Son in your immaculate womb, you also carried him in your heart. Pray for me, this Advent, that I may surrender myself to the will of the Father in imitation of you. You said “Yes” to all that God asked of you and never hesitated to fully embrace His divine will. Pray that I may imitate your perfect example so as to share a deeper union with you and your divine Son.  Amen

May the God of peace enable me to do his will in every kind of goodness, working in us what pleases him, through Jesus  Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!

 

 

Second Wednesday in Advent

Hello everyone!

Well, it is less than two weeks to Christmas.  I guess it is time to think about putting up the tree.  Being under the weather and all, everything seems like a lot of work.  I am whiny and that really isn’t like me.  I want to wave a magic wand and have everything magically cleaned and decorated, with homemade soup in the crock pot.  Le sigh.  I guess I need a Mary Poppins in my life.

It comes down to priorities, doesn’t it. Choices. It feels sometimes like EVERYTHING is important.  People call on us for help, things on the to do list must be crossed off, gotta squeeze in that extra hour of tv before turning in….  I am so hopeless about this sometimes.  I keep spinning plates until I can’t go another step.  I get sick or stressed or just grumpy.

Time for a reset.  Time for balance.  Time to care our ourselves.

So, today, what absolutely has to get done?  Chances are you can cross off a lot of things on the list.  The tree can wait.  Heck, the dusting and dishes can wait.  When you are feeling sick and tired, pamper yourself.  Watch that movie.  Read that book. Order in.  Let the world turn without you for a bit.  Drop your shoulders.  Relax.  Leave the computer. Turn the phone on vibrate. Just be.  Did you drop your shoulders yet? Deep breath.

Remember, you are not in this alone.  You have a heavenly entourage that wants to be a part of your life.  Pray.  Invite the angels in.  Talk to God.  You are covered! 🙂

Blessings,
+Deb

Here is today’s morning prayer service:

An Order for Morning Prayer
We greet the Day

O Lord, open our lips:
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

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

Hear, O Israel

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no commandment greater than these.

Kyrie
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Collect
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen

Bendicite

1    Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

2    Bless the Lord you heavens:  sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

3    Bless the Lord you angels of the Lord:  sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

4    Bless the Lord all people on earth:  sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

5    O people of God bless the Lord:  sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

6    Bless the Lord you priests of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

7    Bless the Lord you servants of the Lord:  sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

8    Bless the Lord all you of upright spirit:  bless the Lord you that are holy and humble in heart; bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit:  sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
— The Song of the Three 35–37, 60–65

Reading:  John 3:16-21

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

18 He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

21 But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.

Psalm 96

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Reflective Prayer
Gracious God, gifts without measure flow from your goodness to give us your peace. Our life is your gift. Guide our life’s journey, for only your love makes us whole. Keep us strong in your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Intercessory Prayers
We  offer to God the prayers of our hearts-

Gracious God source of all love and fount of all blessing, your Son Jesus Christ promised that you will hear us when we ask in faith.  Confident in his word, we offer you our prayers.

We pray for our world, for the leaders of nations and all in authority, that everyone may live in peace and mutual trust, sharing with justice the resources of the earth. May your love guide each heart.
(offer personal prayers for the world, leaders, the planet)

We give thanks for our church and every faith community across the world. Encourage clergy and religious leaders to lead with compassion, mirroring your love and grace by their lives and teaching.

We offer to your care, merciful God, all who are in sorrow, sickness, discouragement or any other trouble. Give them patience and a firm trust in your goodness. Change lives today through your mighty healing touch and bring to know your loving presence at work in their lives.

We pray for our own needs and concerns, giving thanks that answers and resolution are already on their way to us.  Especially, we offer these concerns to you…….

We give thanks for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing. May they find comfort and hope in the joy of your promise that you will greet us at the last and take us to your Father’s house.

Hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
now and for ever.
Amen.

O Emmanuel, most gracious and loving Lord Jesus, I choose you, this Advent, as my Saviour and my God. I offer my heart to you and seek to put all my trust in your tender care. Draw me close to you and free me from my sin so that I may love you with a pure and holy heart. Amen

May the God of peace enable me to do His will in every kind of goodness, working in us what pleases Him, through Jesus  Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!

 

Second Tuesday in Advent

Good morning, everyone.

It is another dull day  here in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  The weather kind of matches my mental state today.  I am still working through this virus and feeling under the weather. Catching up with a pile out paperwork today, which may be not the best thing with a swimming head. I’m sipping on tea and wrapped up in my comfy sweater.

Yesterday I was out for a bit and ended up at Mt Carmel.  I sat alone in the magnificent chapel just as it was getting to be twilight.  Just me and God.  Not another soul in the place.  For a shrine site, that was unusual.

I needed the quiet, a space for contemplation. It has been a wonderful busy few months and I am so grateful to God for the  many blessings that have come into my life and especially in our little church.

While our homes serve as our parishes, in our church, I do miss the holy space of a church that has been home to the prayers of its people.  There is a fullness in the air, a presence that cannot be duplicated in the quiet space at home.  My prayer space is nice but the dusky quiet of the Mt Carmel shrine spoke deeply to my spirit.  It was like the difference between a triple A battery and a generator.   Both have their place in our life.

On the way out, I lit some candles for the many people I know in need of prayer and healing.  It was a little oasis for which I am so grateful.  We all need that quiet time, that holy space, that reminder of the majesty and presence of God.  I hope that you have the opportunity to experience this regularly.

Here is the morning prayer service for the Second Tuesday in Advent.  May peace be yours this day.

+Deb

Morning Prayer for Tuesday in Advent

An Order for Morning Prayer
We greet the Day

O Lord, open our lips:
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

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

Hear, O Israel

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no commandment greater than these.

Kyrie
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Collect
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Song of Zechariah
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old,
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
and to remember his holy covenant. 

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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

Reading:  Mark 13:33-37
Jesus said, “Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come.  It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.

Watch therefore–for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning– lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.”

Psalm 98

O sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gotten him victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

Reflective Prayer
Precious Lord, as I embrace this Advent Season, please open my eyes to see the great value and blessing of your Incarnation. Help me to discover your presence in this world and within my own soul. I desire to see, understand and experience the profound effects that your Incarnation has on my life and I desire to receive those effects more fully this Advent. May I become a sanctuary in
which you dwell so that I, like your dear Mother, may bring your presence into the world. Amen.

Intercessory Prayers
We  offer to God the prayers of our hearts-

Gracious God source of all love and fount of all blessing, your Son Jesus Christ promised that you will hear us when we ask in faith.  Confident in his word, we offer you our prayers.

We pray for our world, for the leaders of nations and all in authority, that everyone may live in peace and mutual trust, sharing with justice the resources of the earth. May your love guide each heart.
(offer personal prayers for the world, leaders, the planet)

We give thanks for our church and every faith community across the world. Encourage clergy and religious leaders to lead with compassion, mirroring your love and grace by their lives and teaching.

We offer to your care, merciful God, all who are in sorrow, sickness, discouragement or any other trouble. Give them patience and a firm trust in your goodness. Change lives today through your mighty healing touch and bring to know your loving presence at work in their lives.

We pray for our own needs and concerns, giving thanks that answers and resolution are already on their way to us.  Especially, we offer these concerns to you…….

We give thanks for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing. May they find comfort and hope in the joy of your promise that you will greet us at the last and take us to your Father’s house.

Hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Concluding Prayer
This day I choose to live simply.  In situations that prompt  thoughts of judgment, anxiety, doubt or worry, I ask for greater faith and trust in the blessings of God.. As I move through this day, may I remember to be my best self – cheerful, generous and kind, careful in conversation, respectful of others and loving to those who depend on me.  Through my words and actions, may your Love be made known. Amen

Gracious God, gifts without measure flow from your goodness
to give us your peace.
Our life is your gift.
Guide our life’s journey,
for only your love makes us whole.
Keep us strong in your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

May the God of peace enable me to do his will in every kind of goodness, working in us what pleases him, through Jesus  Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!

 

Second Monday in Advent

Good morning, everyone.

Weekends have a way of whizzing by, don’t they?  It is like everything we haven’t got done in the week get stuffed into two days.  For me, weekends tend to very busy with weddings and trainings and church events.  So, I have to find other days to get caught up with tasks. Some weeks it seems like I am always catching up. lol

I did miss posting the Sunday prayer.  But today, I make up for it with both a podcast and a morning prayer.

My little Prayer-on-the-Go podcast for today:  https://www.spreaker.com/user/7828297/moody-monday

Today’s Morning Prayer Service 

Morning Prayer for Monday in Advent

An Order for Morning Prayer
(Note: this is intended as a form of private prayer but when doing with another or as a group, work through it responsively)

We greet the Day

O Lord, open our lips:
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

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

Hear, O Israel

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no commandment greater than these.

Kyrie
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Collect
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Advent Prayer
Come, thou long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a wonder at the wisdom and power of Your Father and ours. Receive my prayer as part of my service of the Lord who enlists me in God’s own work for justice.

Come, thou long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world, peace in my home, peace in myself.

Come, thou long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a joy responsive to the Father’s joy. I seek His will so I can serve with gladness, singing and love.

Come, thou long-expected Jesus. Excite in me the joy and love and peace it is right to bring to the manger of my Lord. Raise in me, too, sober reverence for the God who acted there, hearty gratitude for the life begun there, and spirited resolution to serve the Father and Son.

I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, whose advent I hail. Amen.

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

Reading  Isaiah 9:2, 6–7
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,  and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Psalm 85

Lord, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you pardoned all their sin.Selah
You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
so that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.[a]
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.

Reflective Prayer
Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me then O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.
–St Augustine

Intercessory Prayers
We  offer to God the prayers of our hearts-

Gracious God source of all love and fount of all blessing, your Son Jesus Christ promised that you will hear us when we ask in faith.  Confident in his word, we offer you our prayers.

We pray for our world, for the leaders of nations and all in authority, that everyone may live in peace and mutual trust, sharing with justice the resources of the earth. May your love guide each heart.
(offer personal prayers for the world, leaders, the planet)

We give thanks for our church and every faith community across the world. Encourage clergy and religious leaders to lead with compassion, mirroring your love and grace by their lives and teaching.

We offer to your care, merciful God, all who are in sorrow, sickness, discouragement or any other trouble. Give them patience and a firm trust in your goodness. Change lives today through your mighty healing touch and bring to know your loving presence at work in their lives.

(offer the names of those whom you hold in your heart….).

We pray for our own needs and concerns, giving thanks that answers and resolution are already on their way to us.  Especially, we offer these concerns to you…….

We give thanks for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing. May they find comfort and hope in the joy of your promise that you will greet us at the last and take us to your Father’s house.

Hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Lord Jesus, hallow this new day
I give thanks for your peace, wisdom and strength in my heart.

Help me to look at the world with eyes of love.
Help me to be patient, understanding,
humble, gentle and good.

Please let me see others as you see them,
that I may look past appearances,
and appreciate the goodness in everyone.

Close my ears to all of the gossip,
and save my tongue from speaking evil of others.
Please let only thoughts that bless remain in me.

Today I want to be well-intentioned and fair,
that everybody that who comes to me might feel your presence.

Loving God, clothe me in your kindness,
that throughout this day I might be a reflection of you. Amen.

May the God of peace enable us to do his will in every kind of goodness, working in us what pleases him, through Jesus  Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!

 

First Saturday in Advent

Good morning everyone!

In a short while I will be training chaplains, so let’s cut to the best part.  Here is today’s prayer service.

Tomorrow I will be posting the morning prayer service and also  link the CCCC community’s Sunday online worship on blogtalkradio.  And all this while I am off to do a live service in Wellandport.  The magic of technology!

Blessings in your day!
Deb

Morning Prayer for Saturday in Advent

An Order for Morning Prayer
(Note: this is intended as a form of private prayer but when doing with another or as a group, work through it responsively)

We greet the Day

O Lord, open our lips:
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

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

Hear, O Israel

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no commandment greater than these.

Kyrie
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Collect
Make us, we beseech thee, O Lord, our God, watchful and heedful in awaiting the coming of thy Son, Christ our Lord; that when he shall come and knock, he may find us not sleeping in our sins, but awake, and rejoicing in his praises.

Seek the Lord  Isaiah 55.6–11
Seek the Lord while he wills to be found; *
call upon him when he draws near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways *
and the evil ones their thoughts;
And let them turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion, *
and to our God, for he will richly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, *
nor your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, *
so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as rain and snow fall from the heavens *
and return not again, but water the earth,
Bringing forth life and giving growth, *
seed for sowing and bread for eating,
So is my word that goes forth from my mouth; *
it will not return to me empty;
But it will accomplish that which I have purposed,
and prosper in that for which I sent it.

Reading: Luke 1: 26–38,

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

The Magnificat Luke 1.46-55

1    My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

2    From this day all generations will call me blessed;  the Almighty has done great things for me  and holy is his name.

3    He has mercy on those who fear him, from generation to generation.

4    He has shown strength with his arm  and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

5    Casting down the mighty from their thrones  and lifting up the lowly.

6    He has filled the hungry with good things  and sent the rich away empty.

7    He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,  to remember his promise of mercy,

8    The promise made to our ancestors,  to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Reflective Prayer
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe! You led your people Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Enlighten our darkness by the light of your Christ.
May his word be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path; for you are full of loving kindness for your whole creation, and we, your creatures, glorify you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Intercessory Prayers
We  offer to God the prayers of our hearts-

Gracious God source of all love and fount of all blessing, your Son Jesus Christ promised that you will hear us when we ask in faith.  Confident in his word, we offer you our prayers.

We pray for our world, for the leaders of nations and all in authority, that everyone may live in peace and mutual trust, sharing with justice the resources of the earth. May your love guide each heart.
(offer personal prayers for the world, leaders, the planet)

We give thanks for our church and every faith community across the world. Encourage clergy and religious leaders to lead with compassion, mirroring your love and grace by their lives and teaching.

We offer to your care, merciful God, all who are in sorrow, sickness, discouragement or any other trouble. Give them patience and a firm trust in your goodness. Change lives today through your mighty healing touch and bring to know your loving presence at work in their lives.

We pray for our own needs and concerns, giving thanks that answers and resolution are already on their way to us.  Especially, we offer these concerns to you…….

We give thanks for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing. May they find comfort and hope in the joy of your promise that you will greet us at the last and take us to your Father’s house.

Hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Concluding Prayers
Thank you God for the love you give us.  We ask that as we wait for all your promises to come true, and for Christ to come again, that you would remain present with us.  Help us today, and everyday to worship you, to hear your word, and to do your will by sharing your love with each other. We ask it in the name of the one who was born in Bethlehem.  Amen.

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds upon that radiant love which manifested at Christmas with the gift of the Christ-Child.  And may the Divine blessing  of Christmas nurture us this day and always. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!

 

 

 

First Friday in Advent

Hi everyone.

I squeaked in under the noon mark.  It is technically still morning.  I have had this screen up for several hours, but every time I started clicking the keyboard, there was an interruption.   Le sigh.

I know your days are like that too.  The dog wants out, the phone rings, an important email arrives, the landlord comes to the door unexpectedly (just said goodbye to him)… It is easy to get frustrated.  Some days it may feel like everyone else comes first. A little me time would be sooooooo nice.  Especially on a Friday after a long week.  Le bigger sigh.

Some wise person once told me that it was the interruptions in the day that were actually the points of ministry.  They were the ways in which we show love, help out, listen, be a friend, share important time together.  I see their point.  But there are days when I really want to get to the “to do” list.  Or just have a few hours to read a book or watch a movie or go for a walk.  I count too.  And so do you.

Let’s do it! Today, look for ways to balance the time spent with the interruptions and the time YOU need to accomplish what is important to you, too.   Even if that means a nap.  I think naps are very important.  Block it on your daytimer as an appointment.  No one needs to know it is with your pillow.  In this way, we have a chance to recharge, feed our soul, and feel better when someone calls on us.

And, pray!  Including prayer and meditation in your day is a sure fire way to restore balance into your life.  Oh, I have just the thing for you! 🙂

Here is today’s prayer service for the first Friday in Advent.
Blessings,
+Deb

Morning Prayer for Friday in Advent

We greet the Day

O Lord, open our lips:
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

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

Hear, O Israel

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no commandment greater than these.

Kyrie
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Collect
Almighty and everliving God, we thank you for the peace you give us.  We ask that as we wait for all your promises to come true, that you would remain present with us.  Help us today – and everyday- to worship you, to hear your word, and to do your will by sharing your peace with each other.  We ask it in the name of the one who was born in Bethlehem.  Amen

Song of the First-Born  Colossians 1.15–20
Christ is the image of the unseen God, *
the first-born of all creation,

for in him were all things made, *
in heaven and on earth.

Through him and for him were all things made,
before all he exists, holds all things in one. *
The Church is his body, and he is its head.

He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; *
in all things he alone is supreme.

God made all his fullness to dwell in him, *
to reconcile through him all creation to himself,

everything on earth and everything in heaven, *
all gathered into peace by his death on the cross.

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

Reading:  Luke 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiber’i-us Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturae’a and Trachoni’tis, and Lysa’ni-as tetrarch of Abile’ne, in the high-priesthood of Annas and Ca’iaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechari’ah in the wilderness; and he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
2     Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

3 Know that the Lord is God!
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him, bless his name!

5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Reflective Prayer
Lord, you are the light of the world.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
Heavenly Father, we long for your plan of rescue and redemption to be realized. Give us hearts that see Your beauty and wait in hope for You to make all things good and new again.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
May Your light and love shine brightly in our hearts, spreading hope and peace to those around us. Amen.

You are almighty, above and beyond everything. You are victorious. Darkness, sin and death are under your feet. You are holy, beautiful and full of love. How we adore thee. Amen.

Intercessory Prayers
We  offer to God the prayers of our hearts-

Gracious God source of all love and fount of all blessing, your Son Jesus Christ promised that you will hear us when we ask in faith.  Confident in his word, we offer you our prayers.

We pray for our world, for the leaders of nations and all in authority, that everyone may live in peace and mutual trust, sharing with justice the resources of the earth. May your love guide each heart.
(offer personal prayers for the world, leaders, the planet)

We give thanks for our church and every faith community across the world. Encourage clergy and religious leaders to lead with compassion, mirroring your love and grace by their lives and teaching.

We offer to your care, merciful God, all who are in sorrow, sickness, discouragement or any other trouble. Give them patience and a firm trust in your goodness. Change lives today through your mighty healing touch and bring to know your loving presence at work in their lives.

We pray for our own needs and concerns, giving thanks that answers and resolution are already on their way to us.  Especially, we offer these concerns to you…….

We give thanks for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing. May they find comfort and hope in the joy of your promise that you will greet us at the last and take us to your Father’s house.

Hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Concluding prayers
O come, O come, Emmanuel!
Redeem thy captive Israel,
that into exile drear is gone
far from the face of God’s dear Son.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, thou Dayspring bright!
Pour on our souls thy healing light;
dispel the long night’s lingering gloom,
and pierce the shadows of the tomb.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Lord of David’s Key!
The royal door fling wide and free;
safeguard for us the heavenward road,
and bar the way to death’s abode.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face shine  on us and be gracious to us. The Lord look upon us with favour and grant us peace. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!

 

First Thursday in Advent

Okay.  I know it has been a heckuva long time since posting.  Life gets busy.  Things get in the way.  This is a truth of my life – and likely yours too.

We’ve started the Advent journey, the count down to Christmas and once again our hearts lift with the story of that little babe born in the manger so long ago.  I don’t even mind the early onset Christmas music this year.  We NEED to hear some happy, joyful tunes in this screwy Scroogy world.

So I make a promise to post here daily.  And I will even offer you a morning and (soon) evening prayer service you can follow or just pray with us.  Bishop Jean and I recorded these in the wee smalls, feeling the nudge to invite everyone to pray and to remember that God is with us always, and most especially at Christmas.

December 6 is the feast of St. Nicholas, also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker, on whom our modern day Santa Claus is based. He was the Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor in 270 – a very early bishop indeed!

He had a great, compassionate heart and is credited with many miracles and generous acts, including saving three sisters from a life of prostitution and three other unfortunates who were about to be pickled for human consumption!  It is thought that he was in attendance at the council of Nicaea, at which the Nicene Creed was hammered out.

Because he was so generous and tended to dip into his own pocket to assist his community members experiencing challenges, one of his attributes is that of Patron Saint of pawn shops.  He is a fascinating saint.  You Can learn more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas

Now for today’s morning prayer service.

Morning Prayer for Thursday in Advent

An Order for Morning Prayer

(Note: this is intended as a form of private prayer but when doing with another or as a group, work through it responsively)

We greet the Day

O Lord, open our lips:
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

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

Hear, O Israel

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no commandment greater than these.

Kyrie
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Collect
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. Amen.

The Song of Mary  Luke 1.46–55
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; *
for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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

Reading:  Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever.

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Psalm 97

1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.
7 All who worship images are put to shame,
those who boast in idols—
worship him, all you gods!
8 Zion hears and rejoices
and the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments, Lord.
9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.

Reflective Prayer
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
— St. Therese of Liseux

 Intercessory Prayers
We  offer to God the prayers of our hearts-

Gracious God source of all love and fount of all blessing, your Son Jesus Christ promised that you will hear us when we ask in faith.  Confident in his word, we offer you our prayers.

We pray for our world, for the leaders of nations and all in authority, that everyone may live in peace and mutual trust, sharing with justice the resources of the earth. May your love guide each heart.
(offer personal prayers for the world, leaders, the planet)

We give thanks for our church and every faith community across the world. Encourage clergy and religious leaders to lead with compassion, mirroring your love and grace by their lives and teaching.

We offer to your care, merciful God, all who are in sorrow, sickness, discouragement or any other trouble. Give them patience and a firm trust in your goodness. Change lives today through your mighty healing touch and bring to know your loving presence at work in their lives.

We pray for our own needs and concerns, giving thanks that answers and resolution are already on their way to us.  Especially, we offer these concerns to you…….

We give thanks for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing. May they find comfort and hope in the joy of your promise that you will greet us at the last and take us to your Father’s house.

Hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Concluding prayers
Mother Mary, as you carried your dear Son in your immaculate womb, you also carried him in your heart. Pray for me, this Advent, that I may surrender myself to the will of the Father in imitation of you. You said “Yes” to all that God asked of you and never hesitated to fully embrace His divine will. Pray that I may imitate your perfect example so as to share a deeper union with you and your divine Son.  Amen

May the God of peace enable me to do his will in every kind of goodness, working in us what pleases him, through Jesus  Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!

Prayer – an action of the heart

be the church

Okay.  It has been a while since I have posted.  We all know how that is.  We start out with the best of intentions and then life gets in the way.  A lot.

But I keep getting the nudge to write, to share, to reflect, to spread a message and to encourage you all to keep speaking up  too.  So, I promise to keep this up in my bookmarks where it is visible, a reminder that we have work to do together.  What is that work, you ask?  Prayer, my friends.

Do not roll your eyes. 🙂   Let me tell you right now that you are a powerful being.  You are the child of the Most High God who knows you and loves you and wants to create with you.  Together we can create miracles.

I just checked on the chapter and verse for “anything you ask in my name” and this is what came up.  Most gospels and more:

19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  Matthew 18:19


22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”  Matthew 21:22


24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  Mark 11:24


13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  John 14:13


If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  John 15:7


16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and
bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  John 15:16


23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in
my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  John 16: 23,24


5  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the
one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James :5,6

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of l
ights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17


22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and
do what pleases him. 1 John3:22


14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything
according to his will he hears us.
 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask,we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14,15

So, are you getting the picture?  Are you getting a sense that we can do so much good in the world by combining our intentions and prayers? Are you getting a sense of your holiness and invitation to make a difference?  I think it is exciting!

Even though I see things through a Christian window, I believe that everyone of every faith has this connection with Creator.  Let’s all work as one family to heal and bless one another and the world.

So, let’s begin with this prayer:
Gracious God,
Thank you for the gift of this day filled with promise and blessings.
Send your holy angels to guide and protect us and those whom we love.
Help all who are in any need or trouble
Heal and bring relief to those who are experiencing illness
Comfort are who are feeling hopeless, lost and afraid
May we know your goodness and loving kindness in our lives.
And reach out to all with love and gentleness.
In your holy name we pray.
Amen

Have a great day, everyone.
+Deb