Monday 18 December

O Adonai

O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.
(cf Exodus 3.2, 24.12)

Arvo Pärt. Seiben Magnificat-Antiphonen (1988 / 1991). Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, dir. Tönu Kaljuste.
2. "O Adonai, der Herr und Führer des Hauses Israel, im flammenden Dornbusch bist du den Mose erschienen, und hast ihn auf dem Berge das Gesetz gegeben: O komm und befreie uns mit deinem starken Arm."

Jeremiah 23:5-8

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt’, but ‘As the Lord lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he* had driven them.’ Then they shall live in their own land.

Psalm 72.15-21

15 Long may he live, and be given of the gold of Sheba:
   may prayer be made for him continually, may they bless him every day.
16 Let there be abundance of wheat in the land:
   let it flourish on the tops of the mountains;
17 Let its ears grow fat like the grain of Lebanon:
   and its sheaves thicken like the grass of the field.
18 Let his name live for ever:
   and endure as long as the sun.
19 Let all peoples use his name in blessing:
   and all nations call him blessed.
20 Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel:
   who alone does great wonders.
Blessed be his glorious name for ever:
   and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, Amen.

Matthew 1:18-24

18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’, which means, ‘God is with us.’
24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.

Advent Poem, by Alena Casey

When October leaves have fallen and November skies are grey,
The stores proclaim that Jesus, hope, and joy are on the way.
The virgins hear and heed the call (this world they long to flee),
And congregate with eager hearts to trim their Christmas trees.

Before the purple candle on the Advent wreath can light,
Houses gleaming golden-framed wait long through winter nights.
They wait for something, watch for something—what, they do not know,
And long before the Bridegroom comes, the virgins long to go.

Before the rosy candle on the Advent wreath can shine,
The songs are stale, the trees on sale, the virgins full of wine.
They laugh about their childhood and the lustful dreams they keep,
And long before the Bridegroom comes, the virgins fall asleep.

Before the Paschal candle in the Advent wreath can drip,
The Christmas music echoes die; the trees and smiles are stripped.
The new year calls. Discard your cheer; the holidays are gone.
And long before the Bridegroom comes, the virgins have moved on.

O come, O come, Emmanuel! O Zion, wake, awake!
Your prize is not some Christmas gift, nor even Christ the babe:
Your Bridegroom comes! Your husband calls! Now fast before you feast.
Make haste! Rise up to trim your lamps before your Christmas trees.

God of all those who yearn for a glimmer of assurance on the long journey home to you, come!
Come with a vast storehouse of renewed dreams, hopes, and peacefulness.
May we be alert at all times ready for the coming of the Lord.
—Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Paul Manz. E’en so Lord Jesus, Quickly Come (1953). National Lutheran Choir.

Peace be to you and grace from him
Who freed us from our sins
Who loved us all and shed his blood
That we might saved be
Sing Holy, Holy to our Lord
The Lord, Almighty God
Who was, and is, and is to come
Sing Holy, Holy Lord
Rejoice in heaven, all ye that dwell within
Rejoice on earth, ye saints below
For Christ is coming, is coming soon
For Christ is coming soon
E'en so Lord Jesus, quickly come
And night shall be no more
They need no light nor lamp nor sun
For Christ will be their All!