Saturday, December 7, 2013

Advent 2 - Who's Your Daddy?

Advent 2
The Second Candle is Lighted
     Last week I posted the Prayers of the People  (PoTP) for the first week of Advent along with a brief introduction to the concept of the Season of Advent.  These Intercessory Prayers are being used in several Churches as part of the Sunday Service and are posted on several Facebook pages.  I hope that you will find them useful for personal prayer or small group meditation or in your congregation.  See the information at the end of this post.
     It is time to light the second candle on the Advent wreath and think about those who have gone before as we wait expectantly for the coming One.  This second week is an excellent time to increase our attention and intention to preparing ourselves in a different way for the birth of the Messiah.  Begin again by really listening to the readings and think about the voices the words represent, even though that’s not always easy.  For example, Isaiah starts the week off with “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”  What does that mean?  The stump of Jesse?  Well, the family tree of Jesus is an interesting one.  Many of us know that King David is part of His lineage.  Jesse was the grandson of Ruth (of “whither thou goest, I will go” fame) and her husband, Boaz.  We first hear of Jesse in the First Book of Samuel as a farmer with eight sons, the youngest of which is David who becomes King of the Israelites. It is through Jesse’s family tree that this root, this Branch will flower into Jesus.  And Jesus is indeed the reason for the season; the reason for our Christ-mas - our act of worship of the One we call Messiah, the Anointed Son of God.  

     The secular spectacle that Christmas has become has many caught up in increasingly frantic activities of decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, and rounds of parties all without a sense of impending Joy.  (Personally, a display of fuschia, turquoise, and orange LED lights draped badly over shrubbery doesn’t speak to me of either Advent or Christmas, and spare me the huge blow-up Snoopy, Santa, or Grinch balloons with circulating “snow”! An even stranger sight in the daylight as they all lie unplugged on the ground as a stark image of Christmas gone flat.)   It is into this environment that the Psalmist calls His name blessed and asks that His glory fill the whole earth.  The Apostle Paul wants us to abound in hope and the Gospel of Matthew brings us the very direct and not shy voice of John the Baptist. 

     New Testament scholar, theologian, and author Marcus Borg tells us that Advent “…is a season of anticipation, yearning and longing for a different kind of life and a different kind of world.”  What kind of life, what kind of world are you longing for?  Where do you put God in your family tree?


Readings:  Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12

LEADER:  ~ O Timeless God of Wonder, it is a new year in Your Church, a chance to begin yet again.  Help us to heed the words of Your messengers as we prepare ourselves for another flowering of the Branch of Jesse’s Root.

RESPONSE:  LORD of all, grant us hope, patience, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, the Child that is coming will lead the wolf with the lamb, the calf with the lion, the cow with the bear. Let us be as children and, as we follow Him along Your path of righteousness, let us walk hand–in-hand –  and welcome as He will welcome us, those who are like us and especially those who are not like us.

LORD of all, grant us hope, tolerance, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, we pray especially for those who govern on Your Earth.  Grant them wisdom and understanding, good counsel and knowledge so that we all may live in harmony and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit.

LORD of all, grant us hope, peace, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, we send you our prayers for those who are ill and for those who help them, so that fear and pain may be relieved and replaced with healing in spirit, mind, and body. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

LORD of all, grant us hope, healing, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, teach us to give the gift of listening and comfort without platitudes to those who are in mourning; and to remember in prayer those who have gone ahead to prepare the way for us. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

LORD of all, grant us hope, comfort, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, give us the courage to recognize and repent of our sins against You, against each other, and against ourselves.  Let us truly love ourselves as we are to love one another.

Prepare us, LORD, for the coming of Your Kingdom.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, help us to prepare the way for Your Child by moving us to prepare Holy Space in our lives, sweeping our hearts and souls of the debris of hatred, despair, judgment, greed, and destruction.

Prepare us, LORD, for the coming of Your Glory.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, enfold and guide those who lead Your Church as they walk us forward into ever-changing tides and times.  Help us, Your People and Leader(s) of (add your parish/congregation/diocese/province name here), walk together through the thinning fog towards the coming Light.

Prepare us, LORD, for the coming of Your Glory.

The Celebrant adds:  O God of Grace and Peace, You call us again to repentance and conversion so that we may rightly prepare ourselves for the Way of Truth, Harmony, and Love that will abide in us through the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.


 These Prayers and those for the four weeks of Advent are available for personal or congregational use as long as they are not sold or charged for in anyway. I ask only for attribution and a copy of how they are used. All other content and photos on this blog are proprietaryPlease contact me at for further information.



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