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TMK
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 Advent Readings 2019

My wife and I started this morning. Quite good:

https://www.gfa.ca/advent/


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 Re: Advent Readings

Amen brother, I plan to post each daily because of travel today with the family I missed the first one but will do it here in this thread and we can post each additonal one here!

A great advent thought to consider.

"A humble saviour conceived into the womb of a humble woman and born into a humble manger. Humility is the inclination to bow low before God. Humility doesn't seek greatness, or signifigance, or recognition. It seeks to only obey the One, the truly great One." - Bishop Todd Atkinson


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First Sunday of Advent
Dec 1st

“But as for me, I would seek God,
And to God I would commit my cause—

He sets on high those who are lowly,
And those who mourn are lifted to safety.

So the poor have hope,
And injustice shuts her mouth.
—Job 5:8, 11, 16 (NKJV)

Scripture Readings:

Isaiah 2:1–5

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
 and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
 Many peoples shall come and say,
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
 to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
 and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
 and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
 and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
 and their spears into pruning–hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
 neither shall they learn war any more.

Judgement Pronounced on Arrogance

O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
 in the light of the Lord!

Prayers:

Thematic Prayer
God of justice and peace,
from the heavens you rain down mercy and kindness,
that all on earth may stand in awe and wonder
before your marvelous deeds.
Raise our heads in expectation,
that we may yearn for the coming day of the Lord
and stand without blame before your Son, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Intercessory Prayer
We seek the mighty God
in the most unlikely places
as a child in a stable,
and in an empty tomb.
May God hear these prayers,
which come from the unlikely corners of our lives.

Prayers of the People, concluding with:

Give us ears to hear, O God,
and eyes to watch,
that we may know your presence in our midst
during this holy season of joy
as we anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Scripture Prayer
Unexpected God,
your advent alarms us.
Wake us from drowsy worship,
from the sleep that neglects love,
and the sedative of misdirected frenzy.
Awaken us now to your coming,
and bend our angers into your peace. Amen.

Psalm 122

Song of Praise and Prayer for Jerusalem

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

I was glad when they said to me,
 ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’
Our feet are standing
 within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem—built as a city
 that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up,
 the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
 to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there the thrones for judgement were set up,
 the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
‘May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
 and security within your towers.’
For the sake of my relatives and friends
 I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
 I will seek your good.

Romans 13:11–14

An Urgent Appeal

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

St. Matthew 24:36–44

The Necessity for Watchfulness

‘But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.


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Monday Dec 2nd

Collect

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armour 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.
(This Collect is to be repeated every day after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Eve.)

Psalm 1

The Two Ways

Happy are those
 who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
 or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
 and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
 planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
 and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.

The wicked are not so,
 but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement,
 nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
 but the way of the wicked will perish.

Amos 2:6–16

Judgement on Israel

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Israel,
 and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they sell the righteous for silver,
 and the needy for a pair of sandals—
they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth,
 and push the afflicted out of the way;
father and son go in to the same girl,
 so that my holy name is profaned;
they lay themselves down beside every altar
 on garments taken in pledge;
and in the house of their God they drink
 wine bought with fines they imposed.

Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them,
 whose height was like the height of cedars,
 and who was as strong as oaks;
I destroyed his fruit above,
 and his roots beneath.
Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
 and led you for forty years in the wilderness,
 to possess the land of the Amorite.
And I raised up some of your children to be prophets
 and some of your youths to be nazirites.
 Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?
  says the Lord. 

But you made the nazirites drink wine,
 and commanded the prophets,
 saying, ‘You shall not prophesy.’

So, I will press you down in your place,
 just as a cart presses down
 when it is full of sheaves.
Flight shall perish from the swift,
 and the strong shall not retain their strength,
 nor shall the mighty save their lives;
those who handle the bow shall not stand,
 and those who are swift of foot shall not save themselves,
 nor shall those who ride horses save their lives;
and those who are stout of heart among the mighty
 shall flee away naked on that day,
  says the Lord.

II Peter 1:1–11

Salutation

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ:

May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

The Christian’s Call and Election

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants in the divine nature. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self–control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short–sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

St. Matthew 21:1–11

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
 humble, and mounted on a donkey,
  and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’


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Tuesday Dec 3rd

Collect

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armour 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.
(This Collect is to be repeated every day after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Eve.)

Psalm 5

Trust in God for Deliverance from Enemies

Give ear to my words, O Lord;
 give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry,
 my King and my God,
 for to you I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
 in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
 evil will not sojourn with you.
The boastful will not stand before your eyes;
 you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
 the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
 will enter your house,
I will bow down towards your holy temple
 in awe of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
 because of my enemies;
 make your way straight before me.

For there is no truth in their mouths;
 their hearts are destruction;
their throats are open graves;
 they flatter with their tongues.
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
 let them fall by their own counsels;
because of their many transgressions cast them out,
 for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
 let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
 so that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
 you cover them with favour as with a shield.

Amos 3:1–11

Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt:

You only have I known
 of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
 for all your iniquities.

Do two walk together
 unless they have made an appointment?
Does a lion roar in the forest,
 when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den,
 if it has caught nothing?
Does a bird fall into a snare on the earth,
 when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
 when it has taken nothing?
Is a trumpet blown in a city,
 and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster befall a city,
 unless the Lord has done it?
Surely the Lord God does nothing,
 without revealing his secret
 to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared;
 who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
 who can but prophesy?

Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod,
 and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
and say, ‘Assemble yourselves on Mount Samaria,
 and see what great tumults are within it,
 and what oppressions are in its midst.’
They do not know how to do right, says the Lord,
 those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.
Therefore, thus says the Lord God:
An adversary shall surround the land,
 and strip you of your defence;
 and your strongholds shall be plundered.

II Peter 1:12–21

Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

Eyewitnesses of Christ’s Glory

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

St. Matthew 21:1–11

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
 humble, and mounted on a donkey,
  and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’


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Wednesday, Dec 4th

Collect

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armour 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.
(This Collect is to be repeated every day after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Eve.)

Psalm 119:1–24

The Glories of God’s Law

Happy are those whose way is blameless,
 who walk in the law of the Lord.
Happy are those who keep his decrees,
 who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
 but walk in his ways.
You have commanded your precepts
 to be kept diligently.
O that my ways may be steadfast
 in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
 having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
 when I learn your righteous ordinances.
I will observe your statutes;
 do not utterly forsake me.

How can young people keep their way pure?
 By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
 do not let me stray from your commandments.
I treasure your word in my heart,
 so that I may not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
 teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare
 all the ordinances of your mouth.
I delight in the way of your decrees
 as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts,
 and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
 I will not forget your word.

Deal bountifully with your servant,
 so that I may live and observe your word.
Open my eyes, so that I may behold
 wondrous things out of your law.
I live as an alien in the land;
 do not hide your commandments from me.
My soul is consumed with longing
 for your ordinances at all times.
You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
 who wander from your commandments;
take away from me their scorn and contempt,
 for I have kept your decrees.
Even though princes sit plotting against me,
 your servant will meditate on your statutes.
Your decrees are my delight,
 they are my counsellors.

Amos 3:12–4:5

Thus says the Lord: As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.

Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,
 says the Lord God, the God of hosts:
On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions,
 I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
 and fall to the ground.
I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
 and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end,
  says the Lord.

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan
 who are on Mount Samaria,
who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
 who say to their husbands, ‘Bring something to drink!’
The Lord God has sworn by his holiness:
 The time is surely coming upon you,
when they shall take you away with hooks,
 even the last of you with fish–hooks.
Through breaches in the wall you shall leave,
 each one straight ahead;
 and you shall be flung out into Harmon,
  says the Lord.
Come to Bethel—and transgress;
 to Gilgal—and multiply transgression;
bring your sacrifices every morning,
 your tithes every three days;
bring a thank–offering of leavened bread,
 and proclaim freewill-offerings, publish them;
 for so you love to do, O people of Israel!
  says the Lord God.

II Peter 3:1–10

The Promise of the Lord’s Coming

This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you; in them I am trying to arouse your sincere intention by reminding you that you should remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour spoken through your apostles. First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts and saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!’ They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the godless.

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

St. Matthew 21:23–32

The Authority of Jesus Questioned

When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?’ And they argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if we say, “Of human origin”, we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax–collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax–collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.


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Thursday, Dec 5th

Collect

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armour 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.
(This Collect is to be repeated every day after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Eve.)

Psalm 18:1–19

Royal Thanksgiving for Victory

To the leader. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
 my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
 my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
 so I shall be saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me;
 the torrents of perdition assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
 the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
 to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
 and my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth reeled and rocked;
 the foundations also of the mountains trembled
 and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
 and devouring fire from his mouth;
 glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
 thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
 he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him,
 his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
 there broke through his clouds
 hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
 and the Most High uttered his voice.
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
 he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
 and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
 at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

He reached down from on high, he took me;
 he drew me out of mighty waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
 and from those who hated me;
 for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity;
 but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
 he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

Amos 4:6–13

Israel Rejects Correction

I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
 and lack of bread in all your places,
yet you did not return to me,
  says the Lord.

And I also withheld the rain from you
 when there were still three months to the harvest;
I would send rain on one city,
 and send no rain on another city;
one field would be rained upon,
 and the field on which it did not rain withered;
so two or three towns wandered to one town
 to drink water, and were not satisfied;
yet you did not return to me,
  says the Lord.

I struck you with blight and mildew;
 I laid waste your gardens and your vineyards;
 the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees;
yet you did not return to me,
  says the Lord.

I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
 I killed your young men with the sword;
I carried away your horses;
 and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils;
yet you did not return to me,
  says the Lord. 

I overthrew some of you,
 as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
 and you were like a brand snatched from the fire;
yet you did not return to me,
  says the Lord.

Therefore, thus I will do to you, O Israel;
 because I will do this to you,
 prepare to meet your God, O Israel!

For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind,
 reveals his thoughts to mortals,
makes the morning darkness,
 and treads on the heights of the earth—
 the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

II Peter 3:11–18

Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Final Exhortation and Doxology

Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

St. Matthew 21:33–46

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

‘Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’

Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:

“The stone that the builders rejected
 has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
 and it is amazing in our eyes”?

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.


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Friday, Dec 6th

Collect

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armour 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.
(This Collect is to be repeated every day after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Eve.)

Psalm 16

Song of Trust and Security in God

A Miktam of David.

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;
 I have no good apart from you.’

As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
 in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
 their drink–offerings of blood I will not pour out
 or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
 you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
 I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
 in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
 because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
 my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
 or let your faithful one see the Pit.

You show me the path of life.
 In your presence there is fullness of joy;
 in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Amos 5:1–17

A Lament for Israel’s Sin

Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:

Fallen, no more to rise,
 is maiden Israel;
forsaken on her land,
 with no one to raise her up.

For thus says the Lord God:
The city that marched out a thousand
 shall have a hundred left,
and that which marched out a hundred
 shall have ten left.

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:
Seek me and live;
 but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
 or cross over to Beer-sheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
 and Bethel shall come to nothing.

Seek the Lord and live
 or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,
 and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.
Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood,
 and bring righteousness to the ground!

The one who made the Pleiades and Orion,
 and turns deep darkness into the morning,
 and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea,
 and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name,
who makes destruction flash out against the strong,
 so that destruction comes upon the fortress.

They hate the one who reproves in the gate,
 and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.
Therefore, because you trample on the poor
 and take from them levies of grain,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
 but you shall not live in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
 but you shall not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your transgressions,
 and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
 and push aside the needy in the gate.
Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time;
 for it is an evil time.

Seek good and not evil,
 that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
 just as you have said.
Hate evil and love good,
 and establish justice in the gate;
 it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
  will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord:
In all the squares there shall be wailing;
 and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! alas!’
They shall call the farmers to mourning,
 and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing;
 in all the vineyards there shall be wailing,
 for I will pass through the midst of you,
  says the Lord.

Jude 1:1–16

Salutation

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

To those who are called, who are beloved in God the Father and kept safe for Jesus Christ:

May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.

Occasion of the Letter

Beloved, while eagerly preparing to write to you about the salvation we share, I find it necessary to write and appeal to you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain intruders have stolen in among you, people who long ago were designated for this condemnation as ungodly, who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Judgement on False Teachers

Now I desire to remind you, though you are fully informed, that the Lord, who once for all saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their own position, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgement of the great day. Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Yet in the same way these dreamers also defile the flesh, reject authority, and slander the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael contended with the devil and disputed about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring a condemnation of slander against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ But these people slander whatever they do not understand, and they are destroyed by those things that, like irrational animals, they know by instinct. Woe to them! For they go the way of Cain, and abandon themselves to Balaam’s error for the sake of gain, and perish in Korah’s rebellion. These are blemishes on your love-feasts, while they feast with you without fear, feeding themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the deepest darkness has been reserved for ever.

It was also about these that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, ‘See, the Lord is coming with tens of thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgement on all, and to convict everyone of all the deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’ These are grumblers and malcontents; they indulge their own lusts; they are bombastic in speech, flattering people to their own advantage.

St. Matthew 22:1–14

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.” But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, maltreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.” Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

‘But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’


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Saturday, Dec 7th

Collect

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armour 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.
(This Collect is to be repeated every day after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Eve.)

Psalm 20

Prayer for Victory

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

The Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
 The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary,
 and give you support from Zion.
May he remember all your offerings,
 and regard with favour your burnt sacrifices. Selah

May he grant you your heart’s desire,
 and fulfil all your plans.
May we shout for joy over your victory,
 and in the name of our God set up our banners.
May the Lord fulfil all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed;
 he will answer him from his holy heaven
 with mighty victories by his right hand.
Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
 but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
They will collapse and fall,
 but we shall rise and stand upright.

Give victory to the king, O Lord;
 answer us when we call.

Amos 5:18–27

The Day of the Lord a Dark Day

Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!
 Why do you want the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, not light;
 as if someone fled from a lion,
 and was met by a bear;
or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
 and was bitten by a snake.
Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light,
 and gloom with no brightness in it?

I hate, I despise your festivals,
 and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain–offerings,
 I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
 I will not look upon.
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
 I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters,
 and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You shall take up Sakkuth your king, and Kaiwan your star–god, your images that you made for yourselves; therefore I will take you into exile beyond Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.

I Thessalonians 4:13–18

The Coming of the Lord

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

St. Luke 21:5–19

The Destruction of the Temple Foretold

When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, ‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’

Signs and Persecutions

They asked him, ‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’ And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them.

‘When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.

‘But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defence in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.


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Second Sunday of Advent

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
—Zechariah 7:9 (NKJV)
Scripture Readings:

Isaiah 11:1–10

The Peaceful Kingdom

A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
 and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
 the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
 the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
 or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
 and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
 and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
 and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
 the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
 and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
 their young shall lie down together;
 and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
 and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
 on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
 as the waters cover the sea.

Return of the Remnant of Israel and Judah

On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

Prayers:

Thematic Prayer
God of timeless grace,
you fill us with joyful expectation.
Make us ready for the message that prepares the way,
that with uprightness of heart and holy joy
we may eagerly await the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen

Intercessory Prayer
God of hope,
you raised up John the baptizer
as a herald who calls us to conversion.
As we joyfully await the glorious coming of Christ,
we pray to you for the needs of the church and the world.

Prayers of the People, concluding with:

Hear our humble prayer
that we may serve you in holiness and faith
and give voice to your presence among us
until the day of the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Scripture Prayer
Labouring God,
with axe and winnowing fork
you clear a holy space
where hurt and destruction have no place,
and a little child holds sway.
Clear our lives of hatred and despair,
sow seeds of joy and peace,
that shoots of hope may spring forth
and we may live in harmony
with one another. Amen.

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

Prayer for Guidance and Support for the King

Of Solomon.

Give the king your justice, O God,
 and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
 and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
 and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
 give deliverance to the needy,
 and crush the oppressor.

May he live while the sun endures,
 and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
 like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish
 and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
 who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name for ever;
 may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.

Romans 15:4–13

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel for Jews and Gentiles Alike

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

‘Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
 and sing praises to your name’;

and again he says,

‘Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people’;

and again,

‘Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
 and let all the peoples praise him’;

and again Isaiah says,

‘The root of Jesse shall come,
 the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles shall hope.’

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

St. Matthew 3:1–12

The Proclamation of John the Baptist

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,

‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
 make his paths straight.”’

Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

‘I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing–fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing–floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’


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