Antiphon: Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
The Houses built on the rock and on the sand. (Source unknown) Yale Divinity Library Missionary Ephemera Collection.
Advent (On A Theme by Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
by Pamela Cranston
Look how long
the weary world waited,
locked in its lonely cell,
guilty as a prisoner. As you can imagine,
it sang and whistled in the dark.
It hoped. It paced and puttered about,
tidying its little piles of inconsequence.
It wept from the weight of ennui,
draped like shackles on its wrists.
It raged and wailed against the walls
of its own plight. But there was nothing
the world could do
to find its own freedom.
The door was shut tight. It could only be opened
from the outside. Who could believe the latch
would be turned by a pink flower—
the tiny hand
of a newborn baby?
On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; he sets up victory like walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates, so that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—in peace because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.
For he has brought low the inhabitants of the height; the lofty city he lays low. He lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust.
The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.
Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?” Then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.”
‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!’
Blessèd are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation;
to you be glory and praise for ever!
May we who walk in the light of your presence
acclaim your Christ, rising victorious,
as he banishes all darkness from our hearts and minds,
and praise you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessèd be God for ever!
— Celebrating Common Prayer.
From today’s psalm: Psalm 118.17–21 sung in Scots Gaelic by Karen Matheson, accompanied by Catriona McKay, at the Memorial Service for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, 12th September 2022. Tune: Bays of Harris, arr. Paul Mealor.
Chan fhaigh mi bàs, ach maiream beò,
is innseam oibrean Dhè.
Throm-smachdaich Dia mi, ach gu bàs
cha tug e thairis mi.
O fosglaibh dhomh gu farsaing rèidh
geatan an ionracais:
Is racham orrasan a-steach;
Iehobhah molaidh mis'.
Seo doras Dhè, air 'n tèid a-steach
na daoine còire naomh'.
Sior mholam thu, oir chual' thu mi;
is to mo shlàinte chaomh.
17. I shall not die, but live,
and shall the works of God discover.
18. The Lord hath me chastised sore,
but not to death giv'n over.
19. O set ye open unto me
the gates of righteousness;
Then will I enter into them,
and I the Lord will bless.
20. This is the gate of God,
by it the just shall enter in.
21.Thee will I praise, for thou me heard'st
and hast my safety been.