Week 1: First Week of Advent – Anticipation

The expectation of the Kingdom is a vision of restoration and blessing, of the Lord turning desolate streets and uninhabited cities into places where mirth, gladness, and song resound. The Lord promises that the days are coming when he will fulfill the promise he has made to Israel and Judah, and that he will raise up a righteous Branch for David’s throne. As the Lord of covenant faithfulness and grace, he will keep his word – the One whose name is “the Lord is our righteousness” shall come, in God’s time, for God’s glory.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O LORD Jesus Christ, Who hast warned us that “in such an hour as we know not the Son of man cometh,” make us so watchful every day that we may be truly prepared when it shall please Thee to call us hence, and grant us then a share in those eternal joys which Thou hast prepared for Thy faithful servants, O Lord, Thou Lover of souls. Amen.

~ Rev. G. H. Sharpe, A.D. 1891, in Selina Fitzherbert Fox,
A Chain of Prayer Across the Ages: Forty Centuries of Prayer from 2000 B.C.-A.D. 1916.
New York, NY: E.P. Dutton, 1943. p. 211.

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Te Deum Laudamus 
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Gen. 1-3

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 25.1-10
OT: Jer. 33.14-16
Gospel: Luke 21.25-36
NT: 1 Thess. 3.9-13

(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Stir up, O Lord, Thy power, and come; and mercifully fulfil that which Thou hast promised to Thy Church unto the end of the world.

Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our hearts to prepare the ways of Thine Only-begotten Son; that by His Advent we may be enabled to serve Thee with purified minds; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

~ Gelasian Sacramentary, in J. Robert Wright,
Readings for the Daily Office from the Early Church.
New York: The Church Hymnal Corporation, 1991. p. 16.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Fulfill your promise, O God, and send Messiah to us to restore and reclaim this world as your own.

Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
Christianity can never be understood when we begin with ourselves. We must recognize that the God of the universe, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is acting in history to bring about his own purposes for his glory. “God is telling his own Story and acting in his own unfolding drama, a true tale which culminates in the person and work of Jesus Christ.” The person and work of the Triune God as revealed in Scripture are the objective foundation of the story.

~ Ryan Carter, Guard the Good Deposit.
Wichita: TUMI Press, 2019, elec. ed. Location: 267.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
God Fulfills His Promise, Jeremiah 33.14-16

Book Reading
Carter, Guard the Good Deposit