The First Sunday of Advent — 1 December

Reveal among us the light of your presence, that we may behold your power and glory.

Readings

Isaiah 2.1-5 | Psalm 122 | Romans 13.9-14 | Matthew 24.36-44 |

The Prologue
by D.A. Carson.

Before there was a universe,
  Before a star or planet,
When time had still not yet begun—
  I scarcely understand it—
Th' eternal Word was with his God,
  God's very Self-Expression;
Th' eternal Word was God himself—
  And God had planned redemption.
The Word became our flesh and blood—
  The stuff of his creation—
The Word was God, the Word was flesh,
  Astounding incarnation!
But when he came to visit us,
  We did not recognize him.
Although we owed him everything
  We haughtily despised him.
In days gone by God showed himself
  In grace and truth to Moses;
But in the Word of God made flesh
  Their climax he discloses.
For grace and truth in fullness came
  And showed the Father's glory
When Jesus donned our flesh and died:
  This is the gospel story.
All who delighted in his name,
  All those who did receive him,
All who by grace were born of God,
  All who in truth believed him—
To them he gave a stunning right:
  Becoming God’s dear children!
Here will I stay in grateful trust;
  Here will I fix my vision.
Before there was a universe,
  Before a star or planet,
When time had still not yet begun—
  I scarcely understand it—
Th' eternal Word was with his God,
  God's very Self-Expression;
Th' eternal Word was God himself—
  And God had planned redemption.


Prayer

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Crusader map

Medieval crusader map of Jerusalem.

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem"—Psalm 22.6.

Otto Olsson (Sweden, 1879-1964). Advent, from Advents och julsånger (1917).
Engelbrekts Kammarkör, dir Bengt Eklund, 2011.

Zion's daughter, lift up your eyes!

Sions dotter, lyft din panna!
Himmelriket är dig när.
Jubla högt ditt Hosianna!
Se, din konung nu är här!
Gud sin Son till jorden sänt.
Fröjda dig. det är advent!
Kom med famnen full av palmer,
låt ditt hjärta vidga sig,
kom med sånger, kom med psalmer!
Ärans Konung möter dig.

Salighetens dag han tänt,
salighetens dag han tänt.
Fröjda dig, det är advent!
Sions jubel ej kan stanna.
Liksom stora vattens dån
ljuder evigt: Hosianna.
Hosianna Davids Son!
Sådan fröjd ej världen känt.
Fröjda dig, det är advent!
Advent!

Zion's daughter, lift your eyes,
as Heaven's kingdom now is near
Shout Hosannah in the highest
Lo, your king is coming here.
God, His son to earth has sent
Sing for joy, this is Advent.
Spread His path with palms and flowers
Open wide your heart to Him.
Trust in Him whose love empowers
light and life in very limb.

Blessed day of His descent
Sing for joy, this is Advent.
Never cease this jubilation,
like the roaring of the sea
we will shout with every nation
praising Him eternally.
King of Glory, heaven sent
Sing for joy, this is Advent
Advent!

[Apologies for the poor translation!]

May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.