Advent 2017, day 8

You have been gracious to your land, O Lord, *
you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of your people *
and blotted out all their sins.

I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, *
for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to him.
Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *
that his glory may dwell in our land.

Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, *
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness shall go before him, *
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

–Psalm 85: 1-2; 8-13

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Advent 2017, day 7

There is in Wisdom a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.

For Wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things. For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defled gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness.

Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets; for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.

She is more beautiful than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night, but against Wisdom evil does not prevail.

She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well.

–Wisdom of Solomon 7:22b–8:1 (NRSV)

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Advent 2017, day 6

Kings shall bow down before him,
and gold and incense bring;
all nations shall adore him,
his praise all people sing;
to him shall prayer unceasing
and daily vows ascend;
his kingdom still increasing,
a kingdom without end.

O’er every foe victorious,
he on his throne shall rest;
from age to age more glorious,
all blessing and all blest:
the tide of time shall never
his covenant remove;
his Name shall stand forever,
his changeless Name of Love.

–Stanzas 4 and 5 from Hail to the Lord’s Anointed by James Montgomery (1771-1854); paraphrase of Psalm 72

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Advent 2017, day 5

He comes with succor speedy
to those who suffer wrong,
to help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong;
to give them songs for sighing,
their darkness turn to light,
whose souls, condemned and dying,
were precious in his sight.

He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth,
and love, joy, hope, like flowers,
spring in his path to birth:
before him on the mountains
shall peace, the herald, go;
and righteousness in fountains
from hill to valley flow.

–Stanzas 2 and 3 from Hail to the Lord’s Anointed by James Montgomery (1771-1854); paraphrase of Psalm 72

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Advent 2017, day 4

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed,
great David’s greater Son!
Hail, in the time appointed,
his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
to set the captive free;
to take away transgression,
and rule in equity.

–Stanza 1 from Hail to the Lord’s Anointed by James Montgomery (1771-1854); paraphrase of Psalm 72

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Advent 2017, day 3

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence–
as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil–
to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From ages past no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who gladly do right,
those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned;
because you hid yourself we transgressed.
We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on your name,
or attempts to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,
and do not remember iniquity forever.
Now consider, we are all your people.

–Isaiah 64:1-9 (NRSV)

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Advent 2017 day 2

Remember God’s goodness,
O thou Man, O thou Man,
Remember God’s goodness and promise made.
Remember God’s goodness,
How he sent his son, doubtless
Our sins for to redress. Be not afraid.

The Angels all did sing,
O thou Man, O thou Man,
The Angels all did sing upon the shepherd’s hill.
The Angels all did sing
Praises to our Heavenly King,
And peace to man living, with a good will.

Stanzas 3 and 4 from Remember, O thou Man, 16th century English carol.

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