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.
O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!
1 I was glad when they said to me,
‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’
2 Our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together.
4 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.
5 For there the thrones for judgement were set up,
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
‘May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers.’
8 For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
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.
HYMN: Wake, O wake! with tidings thrilling
Tune:Wachet auf! (Melody by Philipp Nicholai 1556-1608)
Sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey
1. Wake, O wake! with tidings thrilling
2. Sion hears the watchmen shouting,
3. Every soul in thee rejoices,
Words: Philipp Nicolai 1556-1608
‘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.
Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent
The Psalmist prays for the peace of Jerusalem while Isaiah sees a day when many peoples from all nations will go up to the mountain of the LORD and to the LORD’s house to be taught his word and his ways. May we, this Advent, as we ponder anew the birth of Jesus, wake from our sleep, for our salvation is near, the night is over and the day has come. Let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ and walk in the light. And let us not be found wanting when our Lord returns again. May he find us people of faith, hope, love and peace.
Written by Dr Michael Sutton, Catechist, St Paul’s Anglican Church Burwood. © Anglican Board of Mission, 2016
ANTHEM: Bereite Dich, Zion
Composer: J S Bach 1685-1750
Sung by Janet Baker
Bereite dich, Zion, mit zärtlichen Trieben, Den Schönsten, den Liebsten bald bei dir zu sehn! Deine Wangen müssen heut viel schöner prangen, Eile, den Bräutigam sehnlichst zu lieben!
Prepare yourself, Sion, with tender efforts, to behold your lovely one, your beloved, soon to be near you! Your cheeks must now glow much more radiantly, hurry to love the Bridegroom with sincerity!