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Kenyan school children sharing environmental messages through song and dance © ABM/Julianne Stewart 2018.
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
1 In you, O Lord my God, have I put my hope:
in you have I trusted, let me not be ashamed,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2 Let none who wait for you be put to shame:
but let those that break faith
be confounded and gain nothing.
3 Show me your ways, O Lord:
and teach me your paths.
4 Lead me in the ways of your truth, and teach me:
for you are the God of my salvation.
5 In you have I hoped all the day long:
because of your goodness, O Lord.
6 Call to mind your compassion and your loving-kindness:
for they are from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth,
nor my transgressions:
but according to your mercy think on me.
8 Good and upright is the Lord:
therefore will he direct sinners in the way.
9 The meek he will guide in the path of justice:
and teach the humble his ways.
10 All the paths of the Lord are faithful and true:
for those who keep his covenant and his commandments.
1 Thessalonians 3.9-13
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
HYMN: Lo, He comes!
Tune: Helmsley (attr. Thomas Olivers 1763)
Arranger: John Rutter (b. 1945)
Sung by the Cambridge Singers
1. Lo! he comes with clouds descending,
Once for favoured sinners slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending,
Swell the triumph of his train:
God appears on earth to reign.
2. Every eye shall now behold him
Robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at naught and sold him,
Pierced and nailed him to the tree,
Shall the true Messiah see.
3. Yea, Amen! let all adore thee,
High on thine eternal throne;
Saviour, take the power and glory,
Claim the kingdom for thine own;
O come quickly!
Alleluia! Come Lord, come!
Words: John Cennick, Collection of Sacred Hymns, 1752; alt. Charles Wesley, 1758, and Martin Madan, 1760.
‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’ Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. ‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’ Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called. And all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.
Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent
Happy New Year! Today, our new liturgical year that honours the Gospel of Luke begins with Advent, that season of eager, patient, and watchful anticipation. Jeremiah sets the stage with God’s promise of a saviour who will rule with justice and righteousness, bringing safety and peace to Jerusalem (and to our world). Embers of hope glow in our hearts as we wait and watch for the signs of His coming.
Written by The Rev Laurette Glasgow, Special Advisor for Government Relations for the Anglican Church of Canada and the Diocese of Ottawa © Anglican Board of Mission, 2015
ANTHEM: E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come
Composer: Paul Manz 1919-2009
Sung by the National Lutheran Choir of the USA
1. Peace be to you and grace from him
Who freed us from our sin,
Who loved us all, and shed his blood
That we might saved be.
2. Sing holy, holy to our Lord
The Lord almighty God
Who was and is, and is to come,
Sing holy, holy Lord.
3. Rejoice in heaven, all ye that dwell therein
Rejoice on earth, ye saints below
For Christ is coming, is coming soon
For Christ is coming soon.
4. E’en so Lord Jesus quickly come
And night shall be no more
They need no light, no lamp, nor sun
For Christ will be their all!
Words: Text taken or adapted from Revelation 1.4b,4.8b, 22.20b, and 22.5a