First Advent Reading

I realize it’s a little late, but I decided to post the Advent readings that we’ve been using in our worship services. Thank God for the beautiful, stirring, challenging poetry of Ann Weems!

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Scripture – Romans 13:11-14

11 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; 12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; 13 let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

 

Advent Reading – “The World Still Knows” by Ann Weems[1]

The night is still dark

    and a procession of Herod still terrorizes the earth,

        killing the children to stay in power.

The world still knows its Herods,

    but it also still knows men and women

        who pack their dreams safely in their hearts

    and set off toward Bethlehem,

        faithful against all odds,

            undeterred by fatigue or rejection,

                                                               to kneel to a child.

And the world still knows those persons

    wise enough

        to follow a star,

    those who do not consider themselves too intelligent

        too powerful

            too wealthy

                                                                to kneel to a child.

And the world still knows those hearts so humble

    that they’re ready

        to hear the word of a song

            and to leave what they have, to go

                                                                to kneel to a child.

The night is still dark,

    but by the light of the star,

        even today

            we can still see

                                                                to kneel to a child.

Lighting the Candle

Prayer: God of light and life, as we enter into this Advent season, wake us up. The birth of salvation is on the horizon – the coming of the One and Only who can bring light into the darkness. Brighten our days and our nights alike with the light that will lead us to that Child. Help us to pause so that we can remember your peace again. Help us to be still so that we can experience your grace anew. In our hearts, we know that all the rushing around isn’t what’s important, but when we forget, teach us once again to kneel to a child … to The Child. In the name of The Child – that Jesus-Child – we pray. Amen.


[1] Ann Weems. “The World Still Knows” in Kneeling in Bethlehem: Poetry for Advent and Christmas. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1993), 59.

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