Advent Morning Prayer. Week 3

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1 Advent Morning Prayer Week 3 Monday 12 th December 2011 Our week begins with Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice in Latin. We prepare this week by feeling the joy. Each morning this week, in that brief moment we are becoming accustomed to, we want to light a third inner candle. Three candles, going from expectation, to longing, to joy. They represent our inner preparation, or innerperspective. In this world of conflict and division, we begin each day this week with a sense of liberating joy. O God Come to our aid, O Lord, make haste to help us. All: Glory be to God our Creator, to Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit who dwells in our midst, both now and forever. Amen. Lighting of Advent wreath; (The Rose Candle) Almighty God, your promise of salvation fills us with joy and hope. We long for its fulfilment in our own time. Hear the cries of your people and let your justice be evident in our world, that we and all people may have ever new reasons to rejoice in your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen Play some appropriate music. Psalm 25 (24) Lord, make me know your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Make me walk in your truth, and teach me; For you are God my saviour. Remember your mercy, Lord, And the love you have shown from of old. In your love remember me, Because of your goodness, O Lord. The Lord is good and upright. He shows the path to those who stray, He guides the humble in the right path; He teaches his way to the poor. Focus: We are invited to notice that what God brings is worth waiting for. But so often this is difficult, we can feel like we need God now. We want God to turn up in our lives in a clear and powerful way, it can be very difficult to remain patiently, particularly when our lives are difficult or confusing or when we see violence in the world. At other times we are like the lost sheep wandering off on our own unaware of our effect on those around us. Yet in all these situations we are invited to consider how God is inviting us to choose those things which give life, waiting in hope and not despair, returning to God in joy and not shame, saying our yes to God despite our fears and concerns for those who are suffering or experiencing violent situations. James 5:7-10 Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

2 Reflective Time This reading encourages us to choose life in our relationships and not to grumble about each other. Are there people in your life who you find irritating, or people who seem to bring out the worst in you? How might God be looking at that person? We are invited to strengthen our hearts. In what ways does your heart need the strengthening power of God? What do you need in order to look at life from God s perspective, not being weighed down by cares and anxieties? As you listen to the reading again, notice the words and phrases that resonate in you. Let these words stay with you speaking ever more deeply in your heart. Take the words in your heart to God, speaking them to the God who invites you to choose life and listening to how God might respond to you. Benedictus Ant: The Lord, the ruler of the universe, will come from heaven in great majesty. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them. He has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of David his servant, as he promised by the lips of holy ones, those who were his prophets of old. A saviour who would free us from our foes, from the hands of all who hate us. So his love for our forebears is fulfilled and his holy covenant remembered. He swore to Abraham our father to grant us, that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes, we might serve him in holiness and justice all the days of our life in his presence. As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God, the most High; You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him. To make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of all their sins, the loving kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high. He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace. Ant: The Lord, the ruler of the universe, will come from heaven in great majesty. Prayers of Intercessions / Our Father / Music Concluding Prayer: In your love, Father, listen to our prayer; may your Son at his coming dispel by his grace the darkness of our hearts. We make our prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen The Lord Bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

3 Advent Morning Prayer Week 3 Tuesday 13 th December 2011 Our week begins with Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice in Latin. We prepare this week by feeling the joy. Each morning this week, in that brief moment we are becoming accustomed to, we want to light a third inner candle. Three candles, going from expectation, to longing, to joy. They represent our inner preparation, or innerperspective. In this world of conflict and division, we begin each day this week with a sense of liberating joy. O God Come to our aid, O Lord, make haste to help us. All: Glory be to God our Creator, to Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit who dwells in our midst, both now and forever. Amen. Lighting of Advent wreath; (The Rose Candle) Almighty God, your promise of salvation fills us with joy and hope. We long for its fulfilment in our own time. Hear the cries of your people and let your justice be evident in our world, that we and all people may have ever new reasons to rejoice in your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen Music Psalm 34 (33) I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on my lips; in the Lord my soul shall make its boast. The humble shall hear and be glad. Look towards him and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed. This poor man called; the Lord heard him and rescued him from all his distress. The Lord turns his face against the wicked to destroy their remembrance from the earth. The just call and the Lord hears and rescues them in all their distress. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; those whose spirit is crushed he will save. The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants. Those who hide in him shall not be condemned. Focus What is God s glory if not God s presence and God s grace made known. Looking around you at yourself and your fellow travellers here, can you make out God s glory in those around you, can you make out God s presence here? Reading from Matthew 21:23-27 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority? Jesus said to them, I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? And they argued with one another, If we say, From

4 heaven, he will say to us, Why then did you not believe him? But if we say, Of human origin, we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet. So they answered Jesus, We do not know. And he said to them, Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. Reflective Time Jesus did many things and on account of them many people followed him. Among them some came to believing him, some were just curious and some wanted to test him. In today s reading the chief priests and the elders wanted to find out whether Jesus was acting authentically. By what authority was he doing these things. Are there moments when I find myself casting doubt on what Jesus says or does? If I am willing to do the will of the Father then I will know whether Jesus teaching is from God or whether he is doing these things of his own authority. Prejudice gets in the way of a grace filled encounter with Jesus. Am I aware of any kind of prejudice in me?. As this passage is read again, hear how Jesus turns this question around and makes the questioners think about what they have just said. Once they realise what is happening, they decline to answer Jesus question and the moment of grace is lost. They are unable to see the meaning of these things and they seem unwilling to receive Jesus. Can I open my heart and receive Jesus message today? Speak to Jesus now. Perhaps you want him to remove some prejudice or preconceived opinions that hinder you from recognising some valuable moments of grace. Benedictus Ant: Awake, awake, rise up, Jerusalem; throw away your bonds, captive daughter of Sion. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them. He has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of David his servant, as he promised by the lips of holy ones, those who were his prophets of old. A saviour who would free us from our foes, from the hands of all who hate us. So his love for our forebears is fulfilled and his holy covenant remembered. He swore to Abraham our father to grant us, that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes, we might serve him in holiness and justice all the days of our life in his presence. As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God, the most High; You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him. To make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of all their sins, the loving kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high. He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace. Ant: Awake, awake, rise up, Jerusalem; throw away your bonds, captive daughter of Sion. Prayers of Intercessions / Our Father / Music Concluding Prayer: Father, through your Son you have made us a new people. Look on us now as the new creation of your love and by the coming of your Son cleanse us from every state of sin. We make our prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen The Lord Bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

5 Advent Morning Prayer Week 3 Wednesday 14 th December 2011 Our week begins with Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice in Latin. We prepare this week by feeling the joy. Each morning this week, in that brief moment we are becoming accustomed to, we want to light a third inner candle. Three candles, going from expectation, to longing, to joy. They represent our inner preparation, or innerperspective. In this world of conflict and division, we begin each day this week with a sense of liberating joy. O God Come to our aid, O Lord, make haste to help us. All: Glory be to God our Creator, to Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit who dwells in our midst, both now and forever. Amen. Lighting of Advent wreath; (The Rose Candle) Almighty God, your promise of salvation fills us with joy and hope. We long for its fulfilment in our own time. Hear the cries of your people and let your justice be evident in our world, that we and all people may have ever new reasons to rejoice in your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen Music Psalm 85 Show us, Lord, your love; grant us your salvation. I will listen for the word of God; surely the Lord will proclaim peace to his people, to the faithful, to those who trust in him. Near indeed is salvation for the loyal; prosperity will fill our land. Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss. Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from heaven. The Lord will surely grant abundance; our land will yield its increase. Matthew 28:21-32 What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, Son, go and work in the vineyard today. He answered, I will not ; but later he changed his mind and went. The father* went to the second and said the same; and he answered, I will go, sir ; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the taxcollectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

6 Reflective Time Jesus asks the question that one could say should have received an of course answer. Jesus knows that the answer to his question is of course obvious but He has something in mind that He wants to convey to His hearers and so the question is pertinent. What comes to mind as you hear Jesus speak? What is your reaction to the way the two sons responded to their father? As you listen again to this reading, imagine that Jesus is speaking to you about something that God is asking of you today. Is what you have heard in your heart, perhaps God s will for you? As one speaking to a friend, talk to Jesus about what is being asked of you. Are you prepared to do God s will today? Benedictus Ant: Be comforted, my people, be comforted, says your God. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them. He has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of David his servant, as he promised by the lips of holy ones, those who were his prophets of old. A saviour who would free us from our foes, from the hands of all who hate us. So his love for our forebears is fulfilled and his holy covenant remembered. He swore to Abraham our father to grant us, that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes, we might serve him in holiness and justice all the days of our life in his presence. As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God, the most High; You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him. To make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of all their sins, the loving kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high. He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace. Ant: Be comforted, my people, be comforted, says your God. Prayers of Intercessions / Our Father / Music Concluding Prayer: Almighty God and Father, by our celebration of the coming feast of your Son s birth heal our present ills and lead us to eternal joy. We make our prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen The Lord Bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

7 Advent Morning Prayer Week 3 Thursday 15 th December 2011 Our week begins with Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice in Latin. We prepare this week by feeling the joy. Each morning this week, in that brief moment we are becoming accustomed to, we want to light a third inner candle. Three candles, going from expectation, to longing, to joy. They represent our inner preparation, or innerperspective. In this world of conflict and division, we begin each day this week with a sense of liberating joy. O God Come to our aid, O Lord, make haste to help us. All: Glory be to God our Creator, to Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit who dwells in our midst, both now and forever. Amen. Lighting of Advent wreath; (The Rose Candle) Almighty God, your promise of salvation fills us with joy and hope. We long for its fulfilment in our own time. Hear the cries of your people and let your justice be evident in our world, that we and all people may have ever new reasons to rejoice in your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen Music Psalm 30 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment; his favour is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. As for me, I said in my prosperity, I shall never be moved. You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul* may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you for ever Focus From the rising of the sun to its setting, my name is great among the nations. As I come into prayer this morning, I recognise the greatness of God who makes the sun rise and set; God who created me and all the people here around me; God who encompasses the whole world form east to west in a loving embrace and I allow myself to accept that loving embrace.. Isaiah 45:6-7, 18, So that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things. Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it.

8 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): I am the Lord, and there is no other. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Saviour; there is no one besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; all who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed. In the Lord all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory. Reflective Time So that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. As we approach the mystery of God s revelation to humankind through the incarnation, the message we receive today is one that makes known to us the uniqueness of this God. What image of God comes to mind as you hear this message? Bring to mind this space, the area in which you work and live. Look around you in this space, can you hear the words: I the Lord do all these things, I the Lord have created it? Listen to this reading again where God invites all creation to turn to Him, God invites you to turn to Him. Are you moved in your heart to stand by the Lord? What do you want to say to the Lord now. Speak to God about it now and listen carefully to God s response. Benedictus Ant: Arise, arise Lord, and show us your might. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them. He has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of David his servant, as he promised by the lips of holy ones, those who were his prophets of old. A saviour who would free us from our foes, from the hands of all who hate us. So his love for our forebears is fulfilled and his holy covenant remembered. He swore to Abraham our father to grant us, that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes, we might serve him in holiness and justice all the days of our life in his presence. As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God, the most High; You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him. To make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of all their sins, the loving kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high. He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace. Ant: Arise, arise Lord, and show us your might. Prayers of Intercessions / Our Father / Music Concluding Prayer: With sorrow Lord, we confess our sins, unworthy servants that we are. Heal us and bring us joy by the coming of your only Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen The Lord Bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

9 Advent Morning Prayer Week 3 Friday 16 th December 2011 Our week begins with Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice in Latin. We prepare this week by feeling the joy. Each morning this week, in that brief moment we are becoming accustomed to, we want to light a third inner candle. Three candles, going from expectation, to longing, to joy. They represent our inner preparation, or innerperspective. In this world of conflict and division, we begin each day this week with a sense of liberating joy..o God Come to our aid, O Lord, make haste to help us. All: Glory be to God our Creator, to Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit who dwells in our midst, both now and forever. Amen. Lighting of Advent wreath; (The Rose Candle) Almighty God, your promise of salvation fills us with joy and hope. We long for its fulfilment in our own time. Hear the cries of your people and let your justice be evident in our world, that we and all people may have ever new reasons to rejoice in your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen Music Psalm 66 (65) O God, be gracious and bless us and let your face shed its light upon us. So will your ways be known upon earth and all nations learn your saving help. Let the nations be glad and exult for you rule the world with justice. With fairness you rule the peoples, you guide the nations on earth. The earth has yielded its fruit for God; our God, has blessed us, May God still give us his blessing till the ends of the earth revere him. Focus Let nothing trouble you or make you afraid. Those who have God will lack nothing, God alone is enough. Luke 7:24-30 When John s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you. I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people who heard this, including the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God, because they had been baptized with John s baptism. But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God s purpose for themselves.

10 Reflective Time What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? What then did you go out to see? In what sounds almost a mockery, Jesus is calling on those listening to him to carry out a serious soul searching. How do these questions sound to you? What emotions do they evoke in you? As you listen again, notice how Jesus acknowledges the greatness of John the Baptist but he goes further and announces himself as the one about whom John was preaching. Some of those who were listening are consoled by Jesus words because they had been baptised by John. But others refused to take Jesus words seriously because they had already rejected John. What is your response to all this? How does it fit in with this season of Advent? Speak to Jesus and ask for whatever you need to be able to recognise and accept God s purpose for you today. Benedictus Ant: Observe what is right, and do what is just: for my salvation will come soon. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them. He has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of David his servant, as he promised by the lips of holy ones, those who were his prophets of old. A saviour who would free us from our foes, from the hands of all who hate us. So his love for our forebears is fulfilled and his holy covenant remembered. He swore to Abraham our father to grant us, that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes, we might serve him in holiness and justice all the days of our life in his presence. As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God, the most High; You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him. To make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of all their sins, the loving kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high. He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace. Ant: Observe what is right, and do what is just: for my salvation will come soon. Prayers of Intercessions / Our Father / Music Concluding Prayer: Let your grace, Lord, light our pilgrim way to the end. Support us now and always as we wait, longing with all our hearts, for the coming of Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen The Lord Bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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